The Pan-Niger Delta Forum, on Monday, demanded immediate review of the Petroleum Industry Bill to ensure that the oil-bearing communities receive at least 10 per cent of operating cost.
As passed by the National Assembly, the PIB reduced host communities’ operating expenditure from five per cent to three per cent.
In letter to the Ahmed Lawan-led Senate, PANDEF vehemently rejected the three per cent granted host communities in the proposed legislation.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Edwin Clark-led group, Ken Robinson, at a media briefing in Abuja, warned that oil exploration in the Niger Delta region might be disrupted if the Federal Government failed to meet their demands.
PANDEF also described the 30 per cent provision for the Frontier Exploration Fund in the proposed law as fraudulent and provocative.
“If this is not done, the Niger Delta people may be forced to take their destiny in their hands and all international oil companies may be denied access to their installations and oil activities in the communities,” he stressed.
Explaining why it rejected some aspects of the PIB, PANDEF said, “It is not clear where the frontier basins currently reside. We, the Niger Delta people, would be happy if all regions of the country were to be oil-producing. However, we must be careful to use the resources at our disposal as judiciously as possible.
“Rather than using our country’s funds to exploit its existing resources, we are using our scarce funds on exploring oil in the North, an exercise that most industry stakeholders have described as ‘wasteful, a wild goose chase and political exploration.’”
PANDEF also argued that it was not clear where the recommendation came from, adding that Niger Delta representatives that attended the public hearings did not recall hearing any request for additional funding for the Frontier Exploration Fund from any industry stakeholder.
“Therefore, we totally condemn not only the concept itself, but also the means through which it was smuggled into the bill,” it added.
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