Major stakeholders in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria have continued to express their resentment over the adoption by both chambers of the National Assembly of the conference committee report on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which granted 3 per cent of operating cost of oil companies to host communities for development purposes.
In addition, the stakeholders want President Muhammadu Buhari, not to assent to the passed bill.
Speaking on the development, renowned human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Dr Akpor Mudiaga-Odje, described the passed PIB by the Senate and House of Representatives as “Petroleum Intimidation bill”.
He said: “This is absolutely unbelievable, to say the least. We reject this three per cent equity stake and 30 per cent fathom frontier Basins Exploration with the vehemence of Justice, Equity and Good Conscience.
“I speak on sorrow rather than anger at this display of endemic selfishness by the majority tribes of the Nigerian State. The Nigerian State has sequestrated 87 per cent of our oil and gas resources in the 1st instance and now taken seven per cent of our equity stake in this bill which I now paradoxically and sarcastically refer to as the “Petroleum Intimidation bill”.
“Let all Niger Deltans high, middle and low pick up ourselves and unite against this collective expropriation of our resources and our people by the callous and vainglorious desperation of the Nigerian State.
“We should constitutionally and constructively engage and resist this legislative holocaust. We thus call on the President to suo moto display his fatherly concern on this matter and re-engage the Nigerian Legislature to up our equity stake to at least 10 per cent and drastically reduce the Frontier percentage to 10 per cent of the profits of the NNPC.
“Notwithstanding, we commend the House of Representatives for being more reasonable and sensitive to our plight by recommending five per cent earlier. Our South-South Senators must immediately restart intense lobby to upturn this incubus as recommended by the Joint Committee.”