Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
To ensure that the ordinary people in the oil bearing communities benefit from the Three Percent (3%) allocated to them in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry is insisting that it has an important role to play in the disbursement of the fund.
Speaking on Thursday in Abuja at the Weekly Media Briefing coordinated by the Presidential Communication Team at Presidential Villa, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to State House Correspondents that his ministry will take keen interest in how the 3% meant for the host communities will be disbursed.
According to him: “the people of the Niger Delta region should be thankful to President Buhari who has shown his love for the region by signing into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which has been on the drawing board for several years. At least we can start with the 3% allocated to the host communities.
“The implementation should be project-based to impact directly to the host communities. In fact, I would have loved it if the National Assembly (NASS) had inserted in the Bill that the 3% should be domiciled with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to ensure adequate supervision of the fund”, Akpabio argued.
On the rejection of the 3% allocated to the oil bearing communities in the PIA by some Niger Delta leaders and Pro-Niger Delta Groups, the Minister opined that it is better to accept what has been offered for now, insisting that it is not how much is allocated to them but how the allocation is being disbursed.