Ex-agitators from the Niger Delta, under the auspices of the Niger Delta Advocate for Peace and Good Governance (NDAPGG), have urged leaders in the region to stop the blame game on the three per cent allocated to host communities in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
NDAPGG rather advised the leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Ijaw National Congress (INC) and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) to focus on ways to support the proper implementation of the allocated development funds.
The ex-militant leaders, in a statement yesterday via electronic mail signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Fiawei Pathfinder and the National Secretary, A. K. Peters, urged the people to calm down and focus on strategic development plan for the host communities.
The group said: “It is not the time for us to point accusing fingers and apportion blames against any person or group of persons.
“This is the time to join hands as stakeholders from the ethnic nationalities in the region that make up the oil producing communities and see how we can manage the three per cent for the development of host communities.”
The body noted that despite the misinformation in the region, the 20 per cent set aside by the provision of the PIA was not to be shared to the North, but a reserved fund meant for the rainy days if eventually production of crude oil goes down at the international market.
NDAPGG said: “The reserved fund will be used for the development of the oil producing communities and there is another percentage of amount of funds that Mr. President set aside for capital projects in the oil producing communities in the creeks.
“The PIA will unbundle most of the agencies in the oil industry that are not beneficial to the oil producing communities, who are the original owners of the oil, such as the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and Petroleum Ecological Fund.
“These agencies were created to take away benefits from the creeks to far away northern part of the country and outside the country, which was inimical to the people of the region. These and many more will be revoked by the Petroleum Industry Act.
“The PIA that was just signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari is over 90 per cent more beneficial to the oil and gas producing communities in the Niger Delta than any other zone in the country.”