PIB: NASS decision not binding on N/Delta, says Udom

July 18, 2021
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In the wake of the controversy stirred up by the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) recently passed by the National Assembly, which allocated only three per cent of the oil revenue to host communities, and 30 per cent of the profits of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for “frontier” exploration, governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom, has declared that the decision of the federal legislature would not binding on the Niger Delta people.

“As southern governors we have made our position known, but one thing is clear: the National Assembly may have passed their bill, they are doing their job and we also will do our job as leaders of the people,” he said.

The governor who spoke to journalists in Minna, yesterday, shortly after attending the Speech and Prize-Giving Day of Al-Amin International School, Minna, established by former first lady, Maryam Babaginda, said that it was unfair to give the oil producing communities only three per cent of the oil revenue despite the huge impact of oil exploration in the area.

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His words: “Let us see how it goes because people don’t really understand the impact of oil exploration exercise and damage being done to the environment where our people can no longer farm, our fishermen can no longer earn a living because of oil spillages.

“People need to see the devastating effects of oil exploration and the consequences on the lives of the people before someone will begin to think that the oil producing communities are asking for too much. The five percent we are asking for is not too much. We even deserved more than that, but certainly not three percent. So, that decision is not binding on us.”

The governor maintained that what the National Assembly has done is a mere legislative function, which they have performed, adding: “We will also perform our function as the leaders of our people. The communities too have their own function to perform, so everybody has its own function to perform.”

On the way forward for dealing with the current security situation in the country, the governor said only a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government at the centre can guarantee peace and a stable economy in the country.

“Without bias, without sounding partisan, it is only the PDP that has the solution to the barrage of problems facing this country at the moment. Nigerians have tested the two and they now know the best.”

Continuing, Udom said: “When PDP takes over power at the centre in 2023, the country will return to the path of glory. We in PDP are bridge builders, we will reunite Nigerians; we will build back the economy of Nigeria.”

He pointed out that Nigeria was at the peak of her economic growth when the PDP was in power, but regretted that the Nigerian economy today is nothing to write home about, stressing that Nigerians can barely eat three meals a day.

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