The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) on Monday sought speedy consideration of other tranches of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that concerns the host communities.
IYC in a reaction to the May 25 passage of the bill ahead Petroleum Host Community Fund as a shown of insensitivity to the plight of the Niger Delta region.
According to a statement issued by Henry Iyalla, spokesman of IYC in Yenagoa, the fragmentation of the PIB into tranches was counterproductive and time wasting.
He said that the Niger Delta people had expected the tranche of the PIB relevant to the region to be given expedited attention in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to resolving the Niger Delta question.
“It is unfortunate that at a time when we expect the government to show commitment in the development of the region we have to contend with the celebration of an ill-conceived idea to divide PIB into mushroom bits.
“We wish to state expressly that the only PIB that will ensure peace in the region and be celebrated by all is one that includes the Oil Communities Fund Act.
“The proposed Oil Communities Act gives the Niger Delta people a stake in the industry and provides avenues to alleviate the suffering of the people in the region.
“Without the passage of this bill any governance structure put in place will not succeed.
“The National Assembly should immediately take further steps for the quick passage of the Host Community Bill which guarantees 10 per cent equity to the community,” Iyalla said.
He noted that Niger Delta people want smooth governance of exploitation and exploration of the abundant oil reserve within the region with the economic interest of host communities adequately protected in the laws.
The youth group maintained that passage of the complete Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is the only guarantee for a smooth and conducive operational environment in the Niger Delta.
“It is only natural that the people of the region would guarantee conducive operational environment with the protection of their interest,’’ he said.