Former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Chief Nduese Essien has called for the allocation of oil blocks to the people of the oil-producing areas.
Nduese, who spoke to newsmen in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State said the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) should be reviewed to accommodate the people of the oil producing areas, during the allocation of oil blocks.
In addition to allocating oil blocks to them, the former minister also canvassed for the involvement of the people of the oil producing areas in the process of exploitation of petroleum.
Noting that if the Petroleum Industry Bill fails to achieve that, the Bill was not going to have any meaning, Nduese said “the property and ownership of petroleum within Nigeria and its territorial waters is vested in the government of the federation of Nigeria. Unfortunately, the federal government bestowed this ownership on selected people from the non-oil producing areas.
Chief Nduese Essien also said the Petroleum Industry Bill does not define who the host community is, adding that failure to specify who the host community is, would merely create confusion and hamper the implementation of the bill and further worsen host community status, reports the Vanguard.
He maintained that the way out is for the PIB to review the allocation of petroleum oil blocks and state categorically what positions would be given to people from the oil producing areas, on the Boards as well as in the agencies so that we can be sure of the management of the petroleum industry.
He further stated that the Petroleum Industry Bill should address inconveniencies and the causes of disaffection with the host communities that have always led to the disruption of oil production.