Seriake Dickson, senator representing Bayelsa West, has said the three per cent allocation to host communities in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), will cause crisis in the Niger Delta region.
Dickson asked President Muhammadu Buhari to hold back his assent to the bill.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the former Bayelsa State governor noted that a review of the legislation is needed to accommodate the originally proposed five per cent allocation to the host communities.
“We believe that there should be a review of the legislation. There shouldn’t be a signature yet. President Buhari shouldn’t assent to it yet”, Dickson said.
“It should be delayed for more consultative and inclusive work so that while trying to solve problems, you don’t create more problems.
“If the President has not guaranteed security in the north-east, south-east, south-west and north-west, it will be against the national interest to open another frontier of conflicts perhaps in the only region that is enjoying relative stability because of the policies that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua initiated”.
Dickson explained that the bill proposed 10 per cent for the host communities and another 10 per cent for frontier development when it was introduced to the national assembly during the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
“Unfortunately, the bill could not be passed then. The 9th Assembly has been able to pass it but we have to get it right”, he stated.
“I am not happy with the three per cent that was eventually passed. Most of us disagree completely and that was why I led my other colleagues from the south-south to stage a walk out.
“The argument was that the investors would not come if more than three per cent was approved.
“However I want to state that if the host communities are not happy, the investors will not come.
“Let us be very careful, and that is why I am of the view that the three per cent is not helpful to the host communities, not helpful to the oil companies and also, not helpful to the country”.
The lawmaker added that the money allocated for frontier basins exploration should not be up to 30 per cent.
“There are several frontier basins in the country. I know it serves the national interest in exploring more basins but why allocating 30 per cent of NNPC profit to oil exploration when the desire of the host communities were not met?” he asked.