26 January 2021 By James Itodo
Oil Host communities have called on the Federal Government to scrap the Niger Delta Development Commission ( NDDC) .
The National President of the Host Communities, Hostcom, Dr Benjamin Sylva Tams made the call in an interview with newsmen at the public Hearing on the Petroleum industry Bill, PIB in Abuja.
He alledged that all intervention agencies established by the Federal Government for development of oil host communities , had not made any reasonable impact as far as development of the communities are concerned.
Accordimg to him, the worst of such intervention agencies is the NDDC which is more or less , cesspool of aledged corruption as recently displayed by its management and witnessed by Nigerians.
” What Government supposed to add to the new PIB, is scrapping of NDDC and establishment of Oil Host Communities Commission which will in practical terms, be very responsive to the development- needs of the various host communities”, he said .
According to him” It is even very annoying that having reduced the 10% to 5% in the last bill considered by the 8th National Assembly , it is further slashed to 2.5% in the current bill .
” This is not acceptable to us as host communities of the oil producing firms . The 10% earlier proposed must be worked upon if the bill is to be acceptable to the various communities bearing the brunt”, he noted.
Reacting to the submission in another interview the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva said the 2.5 per cent that was proposed in the current bill is fair.
His words: ” I speak advisably as a member of the Host Community myself. If you have to look at it properly, you will see that 10 per cent of profit is different from 10 per cent of the operation cost from the various oil firms .
“Before now, you had the provision of 10 per cent of profit and profit means that if I don’t declare it, you don’t have anything. I can decide to say 100 per cent of profit and not declare any profit, so you don’t get anything.
“But in this case, it’s 2.5 per cent of the OPEX. So, at the end of the year, you look at your operating cost and take 2.5 percent of that cost to the budget of the next year.