A national youth leader and political activist, Afen Patrick has urged the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) to tender an unreserved apology to the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and President Muhammadu Buhari, over the content of an uncomplimentary statement.
Afen gave the charge on Friday, August 20, in an exclusive interview with Nigerdeltaconnect.com at his residence in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State
The youth leader said the leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council has no right whatsoever to ask the minister not to come to the Niger Delta region and has advised them to render an unreserved apology to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Noting that the IYC spokesperson only acted due to selfish reasons and not for the entire Ijaw youths, he said people are taking the meekness and people-friendly disposition of the present administration for granted and seeing the leaders as a tool to be tossed around like dice.
He noted that the BIP bill, now signed into an Act, was in the best interest of the Ijaw people and not to cheat the Ijaw nation, adding that the 3% for host communities (HOSTCOM) is from the operating cost and not from profit made.
It is disgraceful that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has been turned into a political party affair, with one party taking one position and the other party, the opposite position.
A quick look at the PIB, now the PIA, starting from the twilight days of the Obasanjo administration, will reveal that it has been a bipartisan effort to date. Every government had the desire to enact this bill but it was not fruitful.
For the avoidance of doubt, the 10% will come from the profits local/foreign operators make. There is no way to measure or ascertain their earnings because few oil companies declare their real profit.
But the 3% will be way more certain because it will come from the operating cost and it is more trackable.
Companies spend billions of dollars on operating costs yearly. Normally, this can vary, but we have some digits from which we can estimate.
There is a level of assurance and confidence that the Host-Com will get something significant annually and the HostCom will be protected from manipulation.
It is also noteworthy to understand that the monies will be paid to communities directly, and not through any state or local governments.
This is the best thing to have happened to our oil-bearing communities for years.
He also called on the youth group disguising itself as the revered Ijaw Youth Council, to thoroughly study the PIA before putting up spurious publications.
Afen equally called on the people championing this publication to retract their purported publication as this will not bring peace and unity to the region but rather fanning the embers of discord among sons and daughters of the region.