Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said there may be a lot of crisis if the 3% equity shares contained in the recently signed petroleum industry act is paid directly to the host communities without any government intervention.
Speaking on Channels TV Sunrise daily on Tuesday, Governor Wike said there is the need for government to monitor the spending of the money that would accrue to host communities in order to avert impending crisis.
He also faulted the approval given to the oil companies in the act to determine what constitutes their host communities, stressing that most oil companies may sabotage the implementation of the PIA particularly as regard to the 3% shares for host communities.
In his words “I was thinking that government should have a hand in monitoring the spending of such funds. That’s my own thinking. Not just to allow it. I do agree you don’t need to pay to government but paying to the host community and leaving them alone will cause a lot of crisis.
“There should have been someone to checkmate the communities in order not to have crisis.
“I can assure you that sending that money to the communities for them to spend for development purposes I have no problems but how do you checkmate the use of that fund?
“I can tell you knowing the IOCs very well, what they will do is to sponsor crisis for them not to send such funds to them,” he said.
The Governor also noted that the 3% allocated to the host communities by the act is not enough considering the enormous environmental damage caused by oil exploration in the Niger Delta region.
He also argued that President Muhammadu Buhari should have considered the plights of the Niger Delta people before signing the bill.
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