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PIA: We’ll ensure host communities utilise 3% allocation judiciously, says Akpabio

PIA: We’ll ensure host communities utilise 3% allocation judiciously, says Akpabio
August 19
15:01 2021

Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, says the agency will ensure host communities make judicious use of three percent allocated to them in the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

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President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law on Monday – despite criticisms on allocation of 3 percent oil companies’ operating expenses for host communities.

Several stakeholders including Seriake Dickson, senator representing Bayelsa west; Douye Diri, governor of Bayelsa state; Edwin Clark, an Ijaw national leader, have argued that three percent is unacceptable.

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) also described the signing of the PIB into law by Buhari as a “callous act”.

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But speaking during a state house media briefing on Thursday, Akpabio said he is “not interested in arguing about the three percent allocation”.

Akpabio further expressed optimism that the PIA would help to assuage the feelings of the Niger Delta people.

“Honestly speaking, the problem is not the percentage, neither is the problem the money. But the problem is how the money will be utilised judiciously and in a way that there is no acrimony. I don’t want money to break the society and cause communal clashes,” he said.

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“So, I strongly believe as a ministry responsible for the peace of the region, that we will take interest in how certain definitions are met.

“People are arguing about percentage. I am not interested in that. We will manage this three percent but the major thing is to use it well.”

Speaking on the completed forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Akpabio said the recommendations would be implemented.

He said the government would change the modus operandi and organogram of the agency.

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Mele Kyari, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had said that host communities of oil companies in the Niger Delta could get $500 million annually from the new PIA.

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