By Odeya Ogbetuo
The national chairman of Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSTCON) producing oil and gas, Prince Dr. Mike Emuh has said that the Niger Delta region particularly oil producing states in Nigeria are to benefit #300 billion annually when the implementation of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) commences.
Dr. Emuh in a chat with newsmen in Warri shortly after a peaceful procession in support of the passage of the PIB by the National Assembly, Abuja said that the PIB will surely impact positively on the lives of host communities, assuring that the funds would be prudently managed for the benefit of Niger Delta people.
He said that 3% approved for the oil producing communities should be accepted for now, stressing that nothing is permanent as it could be reviewed upward in future.
According to him “Beginning with 3% allocation to the communities though not generally accepted by the people of oil producing communities, but it is fair to start with it. Majority are generally in support of demand of 10%. From the 10% recommended in the earlier version of the bill, the National Assembly scaled it down to 3%.
Dr. Emuh assured that the implementation of the PIB will benefit the people as they continue to maintain peace, unity and cooperation with the body that will manage the funds.
“We are the one (HOSTCON Leaders) to manage our PIB money, not the federal government and not the state governments. We will make sure all the impacted communities’ benefit from the funds. Apart from the actual oil producing communities all the areas that the pipeline passes through would also benefit because they are impacted communities”.
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Dr. Emuh affirmed that surveillance jobs and gas flare issues have also been resolved, urging the people of the Niger Delta to thank God for the passage of the bill.
He disclosed that a sharing formula would be worked out on how to disburse the funds equitably.
Apostle Emuh thanked the National Assembly, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Niger Delta people, College of Bishops for their support towards the passage of the PIB, assuring that a general thanksgiving service would be held in future.