The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has embraced the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), few weeks after it rejected the law as signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The council in a statement on Wednesday, September 15, by its spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, said the leadership of the apex Ijaw youth body, took the decision after several deliberations with stakeholders, including political leaders, youth bodies, women and civil society groups.
The IYC, however, called for a review of the composition of the Host Communities Development Trust (HCDT) to include the representatives of state governments, local governments, youths and women.
It pointed out that after a detailed study of Chapter 3 on the set up of the Host Community Development Trust in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), there was no specification on the inclusion of key stakeholders from each host community in the composition of the HCDT.
The statement reads: “The IYC is calling for a review of the composition and management of the Host Community Development Trust to include representatives of the state governments, the local governments, the youth and women from the host communities.
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“The importance of the inclusion of these stakeholders cannot be over-emphasized. The states and LGAs have played a major role in ensuring that peace in the region was not breached.
“They have served as chief security officers of their domain and worked with youths, women and traditional rulers to sustain the existing peace in the host communities and outside. Their inclusion will further deepen the peace and lead to pragmatic development of the host communities.
“The calls by Ijaw youths for a town hall interactive session with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, are not out of place.
“We hope that he will heed the calls to meet with key stakeholders in the region for a detailed understanding of the provisions of the PIA. We have resolved to continue to reach out to him and the Presidency for a better understanding of the Act”.
It will be recalled that the IYC, had in August, rejected President Buhari’s assent to the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) passed by the National Assembly, insisting it was an affront to the people of the Niger Delta, especially the three percent provision for the oil-producing communities.
In protest, the IYC declared President Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, persona non grata, saying the duo would no longer be welcomed in the region.