Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State government has decried the apathetic attitude of the Federal Government to the directive of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that oil companies relocate their headquarters to states in which have their major operations.
Bayelsa State Deputy Governor Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (retd), who stated this in Yenagoa when members of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), led by Victor Nwokolo, paid him a courtesy call, said Bayelsa has been losing revenue in taxes because oil firms operating in the state pay their taxes to other states where their operational offices are located.
Johan, noting that the Bayelsa State government was not happy with the situation, urged the committee to find solutions to the non-implementation of the directive and issues of environmental degradation plaguing the state.
“Staff of most of the oil companies will simply come and work in the state and return to cites such as Lagos or Abuja where they are located. The Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, even took it up with the Vice President. There were some executive statements made to that effect, but up till now we haven’t seen anything. We are interested in that,” the Deputy Governor complained.
Jonah, reiterating the state government’s position that host communities must be accorded a minimum of 10 percent equity participation in the PIB, lamented that oil resource communities are daily exposed to the hazards and dangers of massive environmental pollution and degradation caused by extractive activities of the oil companies.
He decried the effects of gas flaring in Bayelsa in particular and the Niger Delta in general, stressing that the people living in those environments are faced with the heat emitted from the gas flaring stations.
The Deputy Governor disclosed that Governor Dickson had commissioned some experts to study the impact of environmental pollution on the people of the state.
In his remarks, Nwokolo explained that the visit of the committee to relevant states of region was critical to the PIB under consideration by the House.