Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) have advised the Federal Government against truncating the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
They are stating that anything short of their demand for 10% equity, may prompt Niger Delta militants to return to the creeks.
The National President of HOSTCOM, High Chief (Dr) Benjamin Style Tamanarebi said every indication points to the fact that the Government is not interested in the passage of the bill because of lack of sincerity.
Tamarabi issued the statement as an executive summary after the joint committee on PIB town hall meetings between the national Assembly with the Governments of the States, stakeholders and Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas.
He said the Niger Delta militants have been calm because of the high expectation that the HOSTCOM will secure the 10% equity in the PIB to at least atone for the monumental degradation on their environment.
He therefore warned that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders that the federal Government stop treating the Niger Delta interest with kids gloves as it may boomerang.
In the executive summary that was jointly signed by the National President and chairmen of the nine State chapters of the HOSTCOM, they listed the grey areas in the bill that must be expunged or amended.
They therefore reiterated their position to stand by the On-shore Host Communities so defined as Host and directly impacted Communities 50km radius of the Project site which includes pipelines.
They also reiterated in strong terms their unwavering position as submitted at both chambers of the National Assembly, especially the crucial areas as indicated in the various sections of the PIB.
They want a mechanism to be set-up for the obtaining of approvals by the Minister in matters that affect Federation account to include the Producing States and Host Communities as in chapter 1, part 1 which deals with Vesting of Petroleum, ownership as major stakeholders.
They want Part 111. Sections 3,4,5, which said, the Commission shall not undertake both Commercial and regulatory activities at the same time and should not temper with federation account funds such as the proposed 10% of rents on petroleum licences and petroleum mining leases which are usually in dollars to be expunged.
They demanded that the Governing Board be expanded to accommodate each of the Producing States and HostCom representatives.
”The Governing Board of the Authority should also be expanded to accommodate each of the Producing States and HostCom representatives.