Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called for the speedy passage of the Host Communities aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill as it would give oil producing communities a sense of belonging.
Speaking at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday during a courtesy visit by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill, Wike said the bill when passed would address the challenges faced by oil producing communities.
He said: â€œThis is an important aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill as it concerns the host communities. The host communities will become a component part of the entire process.
â€œThe oil producing communities are bedeviled by all kinds of environmental challenges. The passage of the host communityâ€™s bill will give them a sense of belonging.â€
Wike added that the passage of the bill would also enhance the security of petroleum pipelines because of the involvement of the host communities in the production process.
According to the governor, setting aside a certain percentage of funds for the development of host communities is vital.
He urged the Senate Committee to visit all slated communities for the necessary interaction as regards their peculiar needs.
Earlier, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill, Senator Kabiru Marafa, said the Senate attaches importance to the passage of the Host Communities Bill.
He said the Host Communities Bill would be passed before the long vacation of the Senate. He added that the initiative to segment the bill was to ease the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
â€œOn the assumption of office, the 8th National Assembly took it upon itself to break the jinx and pass the Petroleum Industry Bill once and for all,â€ he said.