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– The Host Communities of Nigeria, Producing Oil and Gas presented five new demands to President Buhari
– The group said their demand will help to ensure peace in the region
– It however lamented that no youth was part of the delegate that met the president
Just a day after President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with Niger Delta leaders where he was presented with a 16-point demand, oil-producing communities, under the aegis of Host Communities of Nigeria, Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) have submitted 5 new additional demands.
President Buhari had met with Niger Delta leaders led by Chief Edwin Clark at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday, November 1.
Some of the requests made by the Clark-led team include the completion of major road projects in the region, the take-off of the maritime university, the full activation of ports in Niger Delta and other water ways, the relocation of international oil companies to the region, the issuance of oil blocks to the states and other stakeholders as well as the strengthening of the Niger Delta Development Commission and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. They also spoke about the issue of fiscal federalism.
Vanguard reports that HOSTCOM said their additional new demands will ensure peace in the region.
The demands are: “Immediate release by the Federal Government, of part of the gas flare penalty funds to HOSTCOM; immediate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, by the National Assembly; re-routing of the 13 per cent derivation fund in the Exclusive List, directly to HOSTCOM account as enshrined in Section 162.2 of the constitution, which the group said is against the ongoing practice of payment to the accounts of states and local governments; outright award of pipeline surveillance contracts to HOSTCOM and creation of a new Directorate of Hostland Security with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, to cater directly for security needs of host communities including government and International Oil Companies’ investments.”
Dr. Mike Emuh who is the chairman of the group applauded the president’s meeting with the elders but noted that there was no youth amongst the delegate.
Emu accused the chief of staff to the president of delaying funds to it despite the fact the president had signed it out.
He explained that the gas flare penalty fund was from fines imposed on oil companies for flaring gas in the region which the Department of Petroleum Resources collecting and paying same into an account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
.He said the total funds was about N2 trillion, but an agreement was entered into with the federal government for the release of N98 billion, as majority of the funds had been spent.
He said: “HOSCOM also reaffirmed and buttressed our main objectives of securing a very safe working environment and quality livelihood for our people with emphasis on food via massive mechanized agriculture; Health via upgrading our hospitals/medical centers with state-of-the-art equipment and restocking drug stores with genuine and top quality drugs and recruitment of very qualified personnel, education, training and retraining; women and youth empowerment; infrastructural development; “Industrial plants, modular refineries, fertilizer plants, agriculture and other industrial processing plants and adopting latest technology for gas flare elimination and clean up of the whole Niger Delta.”