PİA: Rep Dekor urges Host Communities to hold leaders accountable

admin3 months ago4 min

Ahead of the first year anniversary of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), Stakeholders at Colloquium for Host Communities speak on critical issues, as Rivers lawmaker urges them to hold leaders accountable

Chairman of the Committee on Host Communities in the House of Representatives, Dumnamene Dekor, has called for a dismantling of the hiccups surrounding the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The lawmaker made the remark at a Colloquium for Host Communities hosted by the Growth Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) Nigeria in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

An event held as an interactive and fact-finding session with Host Communities, stakeholders, and the media to identify and address perceived gaps in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

He also noted that the essence of the PIB “is to ensure that the host communities are represented and their voices are heard and to know how to hold leaders accountable.”

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Project Manager of GİFT Nigeria, Lady Ejiro Umukoro, emphasised the significant role and position of the Niger Delta in the economic development and advancement of Nigeria.

She referenced the “Ogoni 9” story as a constant reminder that it is not yet Uhuru in terms of social and economic justice, as well as development of the Niger Delta; especially from the angle of remittances due to the communities.

Ms. Umukoro also noted that since the assent of the PIA last year, which took over 10 years to become an Act, there are still a number of deficiencies and inadequacies yet to be fully addressed.

She further explained that the implementation of the GIFT Nigeria Project intends the equipping of stakeholders with tools for proper tracking and as such, called on them to advocate and push for the speedy amendment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 currently before the National Assembly.

On his part, Bassey Bassey, Executive Director of HipCity Innovation said the introduction of the cluster members of the GIFT Nigeria Project would ensure accountability among government agencies.

He explained that Nigeria’s main revenue is from the oil and gas sector, yet data and baseline research shows low remittances and revenues received from the sector.

Bassey went on to emphasise that the critical political moment in Nigeria presents an opportunity for the Host communities and stakeholders to share their views, know their rights, and demand that transparency starts from the local government level.

In the same vein, the National Publicity Secretary of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Ken Robinson, thanked the organisers and all Niger Deltans for their role, input, and recommendations in achieving the PIA.

Although he said PANDEF is disappointed with the final outcome of the PIA, he called for a push for further demands and review of the PIA, given that it lacks what he described as “resource justice.”

He further decried the loss of lives and properties, including ecological gains, which cannot continue to be the norm. Chief Robinson equally made a strong appeal for equitable resource justice that will support and improve the standard of living in the Niger Delta communities.

On his part, the Controller, at the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, represented by Godday Ineh expressed delight to be part of the GIFT Colloquium.

He added that the Commission will continue to encourage all Stakeholders, as well as Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs)in the oil sector to look into all issues in a bid to resolve them.

“The GIFT Nigeria Project and OrderPaper including other affiliated organisations are essential to effective governance,” he said.Led by OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative, the GIFT Nigeria Project Colloquium for Host Communities is with a view to stimulating more community engagements for the establishment of the Host Community Development Trust Fund (HCDTF).

Other objectives include the push for an inclusive board and tracking of the 3% due to Host Communities in terms of project delivery, social investments, and monitoring of infrastructural development for the region’s prosperity.

The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) was passed by the National Assembly and assented to, by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 16, 2021; ushering in significant changes to the legal and governance framework, administrative processes, regulatory and fiscal compliance for Host Communities within the region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reach Your Representative