Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCON) has called on the Federal and state governments to immediately release the 13 per cent derivation fund to oil-producing communities.
HOSTCON, in a statement by its National Chairman, Mr. Mike Emuh, also advocated the approval of oil blocks and pipeline surveillance contracts to oil producing communities, as well as the immediate release of the gas, flared penalty levy money that had been delayed.
According to Emuh, the release of the 13 percent derivation fund to oil-producing communities as against releasing it to state governments would help address the issue of many years of neglect of the Niger Delta people and also end the crises in the region.
He also called for the establishment of the Host Communities Petroleum Commission to manage the 10 per cent equity fund in favour of oil producing communities as contained in the Bill.
Emuh assured on the ability of all the oil and gas producing states professionals to manage the commission effectively when it is established.
He said, “As a member of the Board of Trustee of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project, HYPREP, as appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari for the clean-up of Ogoni land, the Ogoni land project should commence as promised and planned.”
He also emphasised the need for the Federal Government to dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers and all agitators in the country.
Emuh maintained that HOSTCON is in full support of President Buhari’s vision of diversification, agriculture, the war against corruption and other issues that can promote peace and progress in Nigeria.
“Hence HOSTCON did not support the call for the withdrawal of the Military from the Niger Delta. The military officers are Nigerians and Mr. President meant well for Nigerians. HOSTCON solicits dialogue, peace unity and for the total economic development of Nigeria,” He added.
He further stated that the group has entered into a strategic partnership with a consortium of foreign investors to utilise the vast quantity of gas flared in the Niger Delta for electricity generation and fertiliser production.
Emuh said the investors are experts in the conversion of gas to energy, noting that the investors would be responsible for financing and overseeing the project.
According to him, the foreign investors would be working in conjunction with the Federal Government, International Oil Companies, IOC, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, who are expected to give the investors the necessary guidance and requirements for gas flare reduction.