Ben Dunno, Warri
Niger Delta indigenes, under the auspices of Host Communities of Nigeria producing oil and gas (HOSTCOM), have called for direct integration of oil-bearing communities at every stage of policy formulation and implementation in the oil sector, to avoid frequent tension in the region.
Its National Chairman, Style Benjamin, who made the suggestion in a speech delivered at the inauguration of his executive body held in Warri, at the weekend, noted that until host communities becomes an integral part of policies in the oil sector there would continue to be disagreements among stakeholders.
He said one of the areas where government should begin to give due consideration is by paying the 10 percent equity net profit from the federation account directly to the host communities rather than the present practice of paying it through the state government.
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The chairman also solicited that the Federal Government and the international oil companies (IOCs) should concede 10 percent equity participation shares to host communities in all licenses and leases with five percent coming from the federal government and another five percent from the oil and gas companies.
“Host communities should be directly involved in the management of their resources to give them sense of belonging. Oil is regarded as national asset as a result of the Land Use Act. Therefore, incomes derived from it are shared by all tiers of government,” he said.