Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Ex-minister urges Emmanuel to set up Oil Producing Commission in Akwa Ibom 

Former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Chief Nduese Essien has urged Gov. Udom Emmanuel to consider setting up Oil Producing Commission area in Akwa Ibom State. Essien made the call in an interview with the newsmen in Eket Local Government Area on Thursday. He said that the 13 per cent derivation should be paid to oil producing communities in view of the devastating effects of explorations and exploitations by oil companies on the host communities. Essien lamented that the non establishment of the Commission had caused untold hardship among the oil bearing communities in the state.

“So when oil is produced, the effect that the exploration and exploitation has, felt more on the neighbouring communities that is why it became necessary that the 13 per cent derivation should be spent more on the oil producing communities.
“Consequently some states have established an oil mineral producing area commission and set aside 50 per cent of the 13 per cent to be spent on such area,’’ he said.
The former minister advised Akwa Ibom government to follow the path of some oil producing states that had established oil producing commission for their communities.
“I call on Akwa Ibom Government to follow suit,’’ Essien said.
He remarked that while some states were spending 50 percent out of the 13 percent derivation on oil bearing communities,
Akwa Ibom 13 per cent was slummed into the state revenue and spent across board without making specific provisions for oil producing areas.
“That is why the Senatorial District where oil is produced turn out to be the least-developed of the three senatorial districts.
“It is so because may be unwittingly the first governor after democratic rule came from Uyo senatorial, and the next one came from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district.
 ”And there was that tendency to give more attention to the state Capital as well as the area where the governor come from,’’ he said.
He decried that previous administrations in the state were not protecting the interest of the oil producing communities, thereby allowing oil multi-nationals to dictate the pace of development in the communities.
Essien advised the State Government to always give adequate cover to the oil producing communities while enjoining the state and communities to work together for the interest of the people.
“We should not only be depending on the 13 per cent derivation, there is a lot more benefits that will accrue to the oil producing communities and to the state.
“If we purse the other auxiliary benefits in the industry like the provision of encouragement of service companies to operate from their areas of operations instead of bringing them from outside the state,’’ he said.

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