Isoko Monitoring Group, IMG, has rejected the Petroleum Industry Bill passed the National Assembly, saying the host communities in the Niger Delta “refuse to be so rich naturally yet very poor in reality”.
The group, in a statement endorsed on its behalf by Dr. Kingsley Oroh said: “It is unfortunate that the 9th Assembly chose petty and egocentric politics over fairness and justice.
“Some clauses that were introduced into the passed PIB totally negate the welfare and sincere agitations of the host communities. In doing this, the National Assembly killed the much expected gains of the PIB and upheld the exploitation, enslavement and oppressive tendencies of the federal government and international oil companies which have left host communiities barren and bereft of development.
“May we remind the National Assembly that since Crude Oil was first discovered in Nigeria in 1956, the host communities have benefited nothing tangible in return. The blessings that come with crude oil have been siphoned, diverted and stolen by cabals to the detriment of those bearing the brunt. Worse is the advance effects of exploration and drilling activities on the health and ecosystem of the host communities.
“Successive governments failed woefully to develop and look after the host communities that sustain and keep the soul of this country together. We have witnessed how profits from the crude oil in our land are used to develop other parts of this country with total disregard to our wellbeing.
“For instance, we are aware that the seat of power is powered by gas from our land, yet we cannot boast of one hour constant electricity on a daily basis. While we thought that for the very first time, the government was fair enough to ameliorate and pacify the host communities through the much awaited PIB, the National Assembly brought in parochial and ethnocentric politics to destroy that chance.
“As a foremost pressure group of the Isoko nation, one of the largest hosts of onshore crude oil and gas, we are stating emphatically that the National Assembly passed the PIB in bad fate with the aim of keeping the host communities in perpetual slavery and under the oppressive tendencies of the crude oil cabals.
“The National Assembly, especially the Senate is wicked, evil, Ungodly, unreasonable and hates justice. We see their actions as a call for anarchy and total unrest in the country. Our people are very angry over this development.
Based on the foregoing and in the interest of fairness, justice and peace, we wholeheartedly and vehemently reject the following provisions of the PIB:
“A. Section 9(4) The Frontier Exploration Fund shall be 10% of rents on petroleum prospecting licences and 10% rent on petroleum mining leases; and 30% of NNPC Limited’s profit oil and profit gas as in the production sharing, profit sharing and Risk service contracts. The fund shall be applied to all Basins and undertaken, simultaneously.
“B. Section 9(5) NNPC Limited shall transfer the 30% of profit oil and profit gas to the frontier exploration fund escrow account dedicated for the development of frontier acreages only
“C. Section 240(2) Each settlor, where applicable through the operator, shall make an annual contribution to the applicable host community development trust fund of an amount equal to 5% of its actual annual operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream and 2% in the midstream and downstream in respect of all petroleum operations affecting the host communities for which the applicable host community development trust fund was established.
“D. Section 257(2) Where in any year, an act of vandalism, sabotage or other civil unrest occurs that causes damage to petroleum and designated facilities or disrupts production activities within the host community, the community shall forfeit its entitlement to the extent of the costs of repairs of the damage that resulted from the activity with respect to the provisions of this Act within that financial year. Provided the interruption is not caused by technical or natural cause.
“The above mentioned sections of the PIB should be reviewed back to the original position of the PIB before its passage.
“The host communities shall not and will not accept anything less than 10% profit for the pains and troubles they have been through for decades. We refused to be so rich naturally yet very poor in reality.
“It is crazy to learn that the National Assembly wants about 50% of the Crude oil gains in Niger Delta to be sent to the northern basins for supposed exploration. This is a taboo and shall never be tolerated by the host communities.
“We Call on the President, Muhammadu Buhari not to sign the PIB but return it to the National Assembly to accommodate the original proposal in the PIB with regards to the above sections. These demands are sacrosanct and very germane to sustainable peace and progress in Nigeria.”