By Abiola Olawale
Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has said the oil-producing communities deserved more than the 2.5% equity shares proposed in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The PIB, which is a piece of legislation, is expected to reposition operations in the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry when passed into laws after years of blockage.
Following the resumption of bill hearing at the Nigeria Senate, the lawmakers proposed a 2.5 per cent equity shares from revenue accuring from oil companies in the Niger Delta region.
However, Diri, has rejected the proposed bill, describing it as grossly inadequate and unacceptable to the people.
Diri, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said this on Tuesday in a town hall meeting on the bill with members of the National Assembly and stakeholders in Yenagoa.
The governor stressed that the proposed bill was not in the interest of the people. He also went further to demand for a 10 per cent equity share to the host communities.
In his words, “I restate our earlier submission that the 2.5 per cent proposed for the oil producing communities is grossly inadequate and unacceptable to us as a people. In our proposal to you, we asked for 10 per cent for the host communities.
“When you visit some of the sites where oil is being explored; that bring multi-million dollars to this country, you will even agree with me that we should increase it further from 10 per cent. This bill will create jobs, accelerate skills acquisition and remove the opacity that we are seeing today in the oil and gas industry. The whole industry is shrouded somehow in secrecy. If this bill had been passed, billions of naira used in safeguarding oil facilities would have been deployed for development purposes.”