Ijaw youths have kicked against the just passed Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, saying the new bill did not factor-in the demands of the region’s communities.
The youths under the auspices of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Worldwide, said the failure of the PIGB to consider a special funds for the oil-producing communities makes peace in the region a no guarantee phenomena.
Spokesperson of the group, Henry Iyalla, said the Nigerian senators have displayed their insensitivity to the plight of the communities by passing the bill in such manner.
“We condemn the show of insensitivity by the Nigerian Senate on the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, which makes it clear that the only interest the government has in the Niger Delta Region is control of her oil.
“It is unfortunate that at a time when we expect the Government to show commitment in the development of the region we have to contend with the celebration of an ill-conceived idea to divide the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into greed-driven mushroom bits,” the statement said.
He insisted that the only PIB that would ensure peace in the region and calm frayed nerves must include the Oil Communities Fund Act.
Mr Iyalla said such Act would give the Niger Delta people a stake in the industry and provide avenues to alleviate the suffering of the people in the region adding that without such funds any governance structure put in place in the region would fail.
“It must be stated that for oil and gas related activities to operate smoothly within the Niger Delta Region, the National Assembly saddled with the responsibility of law-making should immediately take further steps for the quick passage of the Host Community Bill.
“This is to guarantee 10% of the net profit of upstream oil companies on both onshore areas and offshore shallow areas to the community.
“Otherwise, the Niger Delta would see the recent passage of the PIGB as a calculated move aimed at making laws for the smooth governance of exploitation and exploration of the abundant oil reserve within the region without any consideration to host communities.
“The Ijaw Youth Council would not be part of a divide and rule method of governance within the oil and gas operations in the region.
“It should be known by all relevant Arms of Government that the singular passage of the PIGB will not deliver the full benefits of the intended reforms except the other aspects of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, are legislated upon.
“The passage of the complete Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, is the only guarantee for a smooth and conducive operational environment in the Niger Delta, as the people of the region cannot guarantee conducive operational base without the protection of their interest,” Mr Iyalla said.