The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Duoye Diri, has said the Niger Delta region is still unhappy with the three per cent allocation of the operating cost of oil companies to host communities, provided in the Petroleum Industry Act 2022.
This was as he said the region that produces ‘the golden egg’ must not be allowed to be in jeopardy.
This was disclosed by the state Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Dr Ebiere Jones, on Thursday, at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair, held in Bayelsa.
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, had in 2022, noted that three per cent of operating expenses allocated to host communities was more than 30 per cent profit share for oil exploration in the ‘frontier basins’.
However, Jones, who represented the governor at the fair, noted that the PIA ‘did not pay attention to the role of state governments in the realisation of the Act’.
“The authorities are only saying it that details will be in the regulations. But I don’t know whether the regulation is superior to the Act itself.
“As the state government, we are ensuring that we provide a conducive environment for the operators in the oil and gas industry.
“When we organise youth programmes, they are tailored in a way that these youths understand the need for collaboration in the oil companies. This is because, without that, there can never be prosperity. The oil industry is the major focus of the economy,” he said.
He also stated that the last three years in the state were more peaceful than the previous three because of the efforts of the state government.
“We also want to appreciate the Federal Government and the National Assembly for the PIA.
“However, the Act is drafted in a way that the people from the Niger Delta are not happy. That it is only three per cent of overheads that has been allocated to oil-producing communities, while a whopping 30 per cent of NNPCL profits in oil and gas will be going for exploration of frontier basin areas.
“There are a lot of issues that Mr Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, mentioned in terms of opportunities, but we must ensure that whatever opportunities we have are tailored towards the energy needs of the country.”
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