The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, Mr Ita Enang, has canvassed a new order that would take the monthly 13 per cent oil derivation directly to the host communities and totally bypassing the state governors.
Enang gave the suggestion at a Webinar Series on Post COVID-19 Petroleum Agenda for Nigerians, themed Resolving the Host Communities’ Questions.
According to him, there is an urgent need to change the current situation of routing the 13 per cent derivation through the governors, since it has abysmally failed to really address the plight of the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region.
He charged the oil producing communities to unite strongly to fight for their land as the current degradation and other challenges may not be addressed if oil ceases to be the economic pillar of Nigeria. He cited the case of Enugu and other states in the South East that provided coal that was used in powering the locomotive trains but were abandoned to suffer ecological crisis as soon energy demand shifted from coal to crude oil.
He said: “Take 13 per cent directly to host communities. Power should move from the centre to grassroots. There should be meaningful participation of host communities.
“The host communities should rise up and fight for themselves. No one will fight for them. Let the 13 per cent derivation not go to the governors of the states. When the PIB comes, look at all the aspects and raise concerns where your plights are not addressed.
“We are already talking about alternative energy. When oil becomes less important, it will be abandoned by Nigeria.
Enugu has been abandoned by major people. It was from there Nigeria took coal to power locomotives. It is now a national problem with regards to addressing ecological issues”, he said.
Enang also spoke on the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, urging it to get back on track by harvesting inputs from small indigenous companies, instead of being addicted to big contracts only.
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