By Emmanuel Nduka
Sequel to the recent signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has asked the Federal Government to checkmate the spending of allocated funds to host communities.
Part of the provisions of the Bill which was signed on Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari, states that host communities in the Niger Delta region are expected to benefit from three percent of an entity’s actual yearly operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.
According to the Bill, all contributions from the three percent will be deposited in a trust fund for the host communities.
Governor Wike who reacted to Bill while he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said leaving host communities with the funds will cause a lot of crisis.
While noting that he is not against the allocation of the funds to communities in the Niger Delta region, the governor said there was the need for the money to be properly monitored.
“Paying to the host communities and leaving them alone will cause a lot of crisis. There should have been something to checkmate the communities’
“You are not paying to the government, I do agree. You don’t need to pay to the government. Such problems, it is necessary to nip them in the bud. You don’t allow the communities to spend the funds, there will be a loophole.
“Knowing the antecedents of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to cause crisis in the communities for them not to release such funds to them, I was thinking that government would have had a hand in other to monitor the spending of such funds.
“What we were told is that the host communities will be determined by the operators. What we were told is that the funds will be sent directly to the host communities. If that is the case, then there are problems,” Wike said.