Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM has demanded that the government of the state should allow them manage the 13 percent derivation accruing to the state from oil exploration activities.
This was contained in the speech of the National Vice Chairman of the body, Evang. Sanipe Ibinabobo at the inauguration of the Executive Council of Etche local government chapter of the body on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at State Primary School Okehi, Etche.
Evang. Sanipe noted that a lot of money has come to the state from the direction of oil exploration which ideally is for the development of the immediate communities but regretted that the producing areas are terribly abandoned. He explained that the reason for the situation the refusal of state to establish Oil producing area commission.
“What is happening in Rivers state is really terrible. Our state government has not told us how much has accrued to the state from oil exploration activities or what they have done with it. We will never know because they have mischievously sidelined the real owners of the oil from benefiting from it. The only way out is the establishment of a commission to manage this deposit. But we will resist them this time around”, he stated.
On his part, the newly sworn in Chairman of the chapter, Hon. Prince Emmanuel Njoku emphasized the need to fast track development in the Niger Delta region pointing out that despite being the area that lays the golden egg, the place has remained in dire need for effective development. He thanked the members in Etche for choosing them to pilot the affairs group in the area and promised to the run an all-inclusive leadership.
All speaking, the state Chairman of the body, Amb. Elder C. Awortu maintained that the state chapter of the body has made strenuous effort to interface with the Rivers State government for the establishment of a commission to no avail. He charged the newly inaugurated chapter executive to sensitize and mobilize the grassroots on the issues of oil exploration in the area.
According to him, “we have made frantic efforts over the years to interface with the Rivers state government for the formal establishment of Rivers State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, RIVSOPADEC but the state is yet to give us the desired attention but we are not relenting on our efforts”, he stated.