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PIA will address marginalization in South East, South South –OMPALAN


Imo State chairman of the Oil Solid Mineral Producing Area Landlords Association of Nigeria (OMPALAN) Chief Chibunna Ubawuike has expressed hope that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) will tackle the cry of marginalisation in the South-East and South-South areas of the country.

Ubawuike who stated this while interacting with newsmen in Owerri yesterday noted that for over 50 years of oil exploration and exploitation in the Niger Delta, there has never been a community targeted fund for development. Now that it is in place, the region will benefit immensely, he said.

“Now, from nothing, we have three per cent of the operational budget of the oil companies for the host communities. As their operational cost increases per year, same for the value of the 3 per cent,” he noted. Ubawuike also pointed out that if the funds were judiciously used, people will appreciate the efforts of President Buhari.

“Let the funds be judiciously applied to get to the vulnerable oil-bearing communities who bear the brunt of environmental degradation and ecological problems associated with oil exploration and exploitation. They will definitely appreciate this provision.

“I thank President Buhari for expeditiously assenting to the PIB, now PIA, after over 16 years of its being in the doldrums. The political will he demonstrated in signing the bill into law is uncommon. He has once again shown that he loves the Niger Delta Region and is committed to its development.

“It is not the amount of accrual that is the problem. The problem is in the judicious use of the fund for the purpose it is meant for.

“Remember, we have had the 13 per cent derivation fund, NDDC and Amnesty Programme. Trillions of naira have accrued to the Niger Delta region through these provisions. But can we in good conscience say they have been judiciously applied to the development of the region? Can we honestly see the effect or projects executed in the region as proportionate to the amount of monies received so far?

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