The Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Joseph Obele, has said it was unfair for the Senate to have approved just three per cent funding for oil producing communities in the country.
In a statement, Obele argued that the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, was not worth celebrating in the Niger Delta region. But, he stressed that overall, the PIB would usher in new investments and create a large volume of employment opportunities in the sector.
“The breaking news that the Senate has finally passed into law the long awaited PIB is a good news for the Oil and Gas Sector and bad news for the people of the Niger Delta region.
“The reason is that we in Niger Delta are the direct oil producing people and the initial 10 per cent proposed by the initiators of the bill was not too big for the host region. Today, the PIB has been passed into law leaving the host communities with only three per cent.
“This is indeed unfair to us and is not good news and we are not greeting this move with open arms. If the initiators of the bill asked for 10 per cent derivation, I think it’s not bad at all, we own the oil and we are saying 10 per cent should be assigned to the host communities,” he opined.
According to him, in the Oil and Gas Sector, the new law would henceforth dismantle the operational bottleneck bureaucracy and the monopoly of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
“On that note, I give kudos to the senate. A lot of foreign investors have been waiting for the passage of this bill…the new law has further broadened the investment opportunities in the sector,” he said.