HOST communities of the Egbema Kingdom in Edo and Delta States have demanded 25 per cent equity holding in all marginal oil fields in their land.
They warned that the people would not allow new allottees to carry out exploration in the fields if the Federal Government sidelines their interests in the current bid for 57 fringe fields.
Egbema communities in a joint statement by two prominent leaders, a former Commissioner in Delta state, Hon Joel Bisina and Joel Ukori, today, said: “We warn that any allocation arising from this exercise that does not take our needs as host communities into adequate consideration would be an exercise in futility, as the allottees would not be allowed to effectively farm the fields.
“Therefore, we the people of Egbema Kingdom, call on Mr President to ensure that our rights and interests as host communities in this bidding exercise are not sidelined through any form of manipulation.
“The result should command the respect and acceptability of the people of Egbema Kingdom in order to ensure peaceful and productive farming of the fields in our kingdom,” they asserted.
“Egbema people and indeed Niger Deltans should be given the first right of refusal before consideration is given to outsiders.
“At the minimum, a 25 per cent equity holding on all the fields within Egbema territory if the federal wants unfettered access by prospective winners,” the communities added.