OIL-BEARING communities in Delta State have called on the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to make appropriate provisions to enable them acquire and operate marginal oil fields through corporate entities established by the host communities.
President of Izon-Ebe Oil Producing Communities Forum, IOPCF, Mr. Moses Edougha, who made the call in Warri while addressing reporters, also urged the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
He frowned at the current situation in which the Ministry excluded oil and gas communities from the management of oil blocks.
Edougha alleged that majority of the oil blocs were acquired by Nigerians that were not from oil and gas producing areas and the Niger Delta region.
He lamented, “The stringent conditions for the acquisition of the oil blocs have also alienated the oil producing communities from the management of their God-given wealth, calling on the federal government to review the obnoxious policies.”
On PIB, he asserted, “We want to state that undue delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill is creating mixed reactions from the public.”
“The argument prompted by some lawmakers because of the provision of the Petroleum Host Communities Fund, which goes directly to the host communities, is unnecessary. We call on such lawmakers to direct their energies on productive ventures that will sustain the unity of the nation,” he posited.
He, however, noted that the PIB had passed through second reading and commended the erudite leadership of the National Assembly, while urging them put in more efforts to pass it into law.