NIGERIA – A Niger Delta group, the Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, CHURAC have rejected the “Revised Executive Bill” sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group said the bill has reduced the host communities funds to 2.5%.
The group said the 2.5% paltry sum voted for oil-producing communities who have been suffering from environmental degradation in the revised Petroleum Industry Bill was a threat to peace in the Niger Delta.
CHURAC’s National President, Cleric E. Alaowei, Esq made the assertion in a statement signed and made available on Wednesday.
“This is totally unacceptable to the oil-producing communities.
“These people suffered the environmental damage occasioned by the unlawful flaring of anthropogenic gas which has caused climate change in the Niger Delta region.
According to the group, “Oil spillages alone have destroyed our biodiversity. Only the yet to be identified chemical SPDC poured on the coastal region of Delta State has killed all the species of fishes in Ijaw land from Edo to Rivers States. The effect has not stopped yet.
The group noted that “Niger Delta people have been subjected to beaming end because of oil explorations.”
”The 10% host communities funds in the proposed PIB is the only survival means to rescue these pauperized communities from economic strangulation. Anything short of the earlier proposed 10% equity share is unacceptable to the Niger Delta people.”
The group recalled that “When late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua granted Presidential Amnesty to the former Niger Delta freedom fighters, 10% equity share from the production sharing quotas was voted for the host communities in line with the demands of the then militant groups. The PIB was introduced by that Government which had hitherto incorporated the said host communities funds. The Bill was not passed into law before the tenure of that Government ended.
“The 7th National Assembly reintroduced the Bill of which the 10% host communities share was retained. Again, that Assembly could not also pass it into law. However, the 8th National Assembly who reintroduced the Bill slashed the host communities funds to 5%. There were fewer agitations because the oil-producing communities wanted the Bill codified.
“To our utter consternation, President Buhari refused to sign the bill into law when it was passed during the lifetime of his first term. Maybe the Government has a sinister agenda to kill the Bill or to outrightly remove the host communities share in the production sharing quotas.”