PIB: UPU rejects 3% for host communities, describes 30% to North through ‘oil frontiers’ as provoking

Posted by News Express | 5 July 2021 | 717 times

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•Chief Joe Omene, UPU President-General


The Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) has rejected the proposed three per cent allocated to oil-bearing and pipeline-bearing host communities, maintaining its request on nothing less, but 20 per cent.

The Urhobo socio-cultural group also condemned and described the 30 per cent of profits for further frontier oil exploration in the north as insensitive, provocative and injustice to the goose that lays the golden egg.

“This is a ploy to use NNPC to channel a huge 30% of oil proceeds to the North..” President-General of UPU, Joe Omene, argued in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday in Warri, Delta State.

According to him, “after years of delays because of the insistence of the people of the region for a just and fair share of their resources with the demand for a minimum of 20% for host oil-bearing communities, what had been passed eventually as Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is a betrayal of lofty dreams after decades of legislative macabre dance and relentless conspiracies.

“A paltry 3% is what Northern lawmakers felt should be for the owners and host oil communities, a culmination of a game of wits between Southern Legislators who wanted justice for our people versus Northern lawmakers who connived with International Oil Companies (IOCs) and their principals to ensure those host communities must not be given the insulative and unacceptable 5% they initially offered.

“Even this unacceptable 3% is also redefined to include any pipeline bearing communities such as those areas in the north where oil pipelines pass through to convey petroleum products entitled to the same 3% that oil-bearing communities from where oil is drilled will be entitled.

“By all intents and purposes, this bill denies the people of Niger-Delta a commensurate entitlement of the resources in our lands while handing out generous benefit for everyone in the value chain other than the owners of the resources, in particular, increasing profits of IOC investors and other people outside the Communities that own the resources and suffer the most from the devastating environmental consequences oil exploration activities.

“The mischievous decision to conflate host oil communities with non-oil-bearing communities in defining host community is a device, first to set up communities against themselves within our region and to recruit other communities against the oil-bearing communities, an old device of divide and rule colonialist strategy to keep our people busy fighting themselves.

“Otherwise, a clear distinction ought to have been made between the former and the latter that are mere pipeline and related infrastructure bearing communities,” the President-General enthused.

Omene, who commended lawmakers from Southern Nigeria for their efforts in spite of sabotage, however, called on them “to boycott the joint session of the National Assembly to be convened to pass this unjust piece of legislation to deprive and enslave the people of the Niger-Delta of their God-given resources.

He warned that “if they participate in that joint session to pass it, history shall record it and so shall all those who participated be remembered by history.”

(Nigerian Tribune)

Source: News Express

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