Leading Niger Delta youth leader, advocate of good governance, social crusader and a veteran Niger Delta human rights activist cum philanthropist, Amb. John Tolumoware Dekawei has urged president Muhammadu Buhari to reject the Senate approval of 3% funds for oil/gas bearing communities in the Niger Delta region. The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report.
The peace ambassador had admonished president Muhammadu Buhari to uphold the Federal house of representatives as well as the Senate Committee 5% approval and recommendation for host communities.
Dekawei appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to use his veto power as president of the country and father to all Nigerians to ensure that before he assent to the bill for it to become a law, he should override the Senate 3% fund for host communities by increasing it to 5%, stressing that he is grossly disappointed at the Nigerian Senate.
Speaking further, Dekawei said President Muhammadu Buhari as a former military leader of the country and now president under a democratic rule coupled with his vast knowledge in the Nigerian state is the perfect man to liberate oil bearing communities from the scourges of people that are bent on enslaving Niger Deltans, stressing that for the sake of Allah, he should always speak the truth and be at the righteous path that the Quran has encapsulated.
The young leader had wondered on the use of setting up a committee in the Senate after combing all nook and cranny of the region to see what oil /gas bearing communities are passing through with recommendation and at the end it will not be followed by the larger house.
Dekawei also kicked against the Senate approval of 30% fund for exploration of frontier basins, stressing that it is an insult for communities that feeds the nation to have 3% while 30% for things that do not have a direct bearing to host communities.
He maintained that Niger Deltans have over time grappled with the multifaceted issues of unremediated environment pollution, poverty, gross neglect of host communities by companies, federal government and other related agencies, underdevelopment and what have you.
Amb. John asserted that unless the president increase it 5% for host communities before assenting to it, Niger Deltans will not accept what the senate has passed, adding that this is the only chance that the long manipulated host communities have to rewrite their future for good, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari should harken to their cries.
Nevertheless, Dekawei noted that as a listening president, he is optimistic and confident that Buhari will do the needful by increasing the figure to 5% for the host communities before assenting to it.
Another controversial area passed was the fund for exploration of frontier basins, which the Senate left at 30 percent, while stakeholders in the Niger Delta had demanded that it should be reduced to 10 percent.
This came as Presidency described the passage of the complete version of the PIB, which had defied passage in previous assemblies over the last 20 years by the Senate as a jinx that had indeed been broken.
The original bill brought to the Senate by the Executive was 2.5 percent for funding of the Host Communities Trust Fund, but the Senate committee moved it to five percent, but the Senate at the end of the day approved only three percent.
The Senate report read, “This chapter highlights the effective and efficient administration of the Host Community Trust Fund which is to be anchored by the settlor, i.e. the oil and gas companies operating in the host communities.
“The various recommended provisions when passed into law will ensure a peaceful operating environment that will have a positive direct impact on the cost of oil and gas production which has been the bane of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”
Dekawei argued that the National Assembly members from the region did not do enough in ensuring a better package for host communities in the recently passed bill.
Amb. John Dekawei is President general of the revered Niger Delta Socio Cultural group under the aegis of Delta Ijaw Youth Movement for Political Advancement (DIYMPA), raising the banner of good governance in Niger Delta and Nigeria at large.