Members of the Oil and Gas Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON) were in my office earlier today. They came to table some of the burning issues agitating the minds of members of these communities.
The leader of the delegation, Chief Wellington Okrika, wants us to intervene in the issues brought before the Federal Government concerning the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB); Gas Flaring, 13 percent derivation payment to the states instead of the oil bearing communities, the 98 billion Naira gas flare fund and the controversy surrounding the Pipeline Surveillance Contract.
I told them to go back to their people in the Creeks and tell them we are here for them. We are here to champion their request. We don’t want the peace of the Niger Delta to be disrupted in anyway. We are here to protect the interest of our people.
Yes, I may be the Deputy President of the Senate today but, I am first of all, a Senator representing my people. I am theirs and I will not disappoint them. Our brothers in the Creeks have done well in keeping the peace. Their requests that have been channeled through me have been tabled before the authorities. We shall ensure the right things are done.
That I come from the oil bearing communities is one of the reasons why I am DSP today given our contribution to the economy of the country. It is therefore only natural that I champion the cause of anything that would promote the interest of the people of the Niger Delta.
The PIB is a very crucial bill. If properly handled, it would bring a lot of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). This is the best time to take advantage of the oil we have and the best way to do so is to encourage FDIs and this can only be achieved when the Niger Delta is peaceful. That is why I’m suing for peace.
The host Community component of the PIB law is of utmost importance to us in the National Assembly and we believe it should be a win-win for all stakeholders. And so, we are determined to ensure that we have an improvement on what we have before.
I am also confident that we have made a good impression with our colleagues and we would get something favourable for the oil bearing communities.
Other members of the delegation include Mrs. Josephine Odungide (National Women Leader), Princess Christy Ejeh, Anthony Oghenovo, Jonathan Osigho, Joy Richard and Ann Izi.
I am indeed very grateful for their visit.