Host Communities Hail Ibori, House Over 50 Percent of Derivation
3 Aug 2006
Author: Emma Amaize
OIL communities in Delta State, yesterday, commended Governor James Ibori and the Delta State House of Assembly for Tuesday's passage of a law establishing a Commission to manage 50 percent of the 13 percent derivation fund accruing to the state, saying that hostage taking and pipeline vandalisation would cease in the state with the new law.
National leader of the Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON), Chief Wellington Okirika who addressed the press in Warri on the setting up of the Commission said that the oil and gas communities have educated and enlightened men that would manage the fund, adding that its management would not lead to bloodshed.
He said that some villagers fought and attacked themselves in the past over oil money because the demands were enormous and the money was not enough, but this time, 50 percent of the 13 per cent derivation accruals every month to the Commission was big enough to cater for the needs of the people.
Chief Okirika assured that HOSCON would take concrete steps to terminate youth restiveness in the host communities and "replace the high level of abject poverty in our host communities with economic well being and posterity".
Furthermore, he said that the youths would form part of the management and control of the fund and since the share of the host communities would be determined by the quantum of production from the flow station in their areas, each host community would protect the flow stations in their areas.
He said that there was no way a host community whose flowstation did not produce oil or shut down as a result of hostage taking or vandalisation would receive money more than the communities that prevented its flowstation from being shut down, adding that since the sharing was going to be based on production quantum, the communities would tell their youths to drop all forms of violent agitation.
Delta State Chairman of HOSCON, Chief Alfred Bubor, Chief R.U. Igini, woman leader, Mrs. Bosede Tanno, Madam Ngozi Okpokpo and other officials of the group told newsmen at the end of their meeting that they were happy that Governor Ibori fulfilled his promise to President Olusegun Obasanjo to pay part of the 13 per cent derivation directly to the oil communities.
They said that the incessant crisis in the state due to underdevelopment would soon become a thing of the past with the establishment of the Commission.