From Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva on Thursday said that the contentious three percent oil majors’ operating cost earmarked for host communities in Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) should not be a matter that will snowball into a civil unrest in the Niger Delta region, as Well-meaning Niger-Deltans are not against the figure.
He also vowed that the implementation committee, which he chairs, will ensure inclusiveness in all appointments and allocations, in line with the country’s federal character rules.
Speaking at the PIA inauguration of the members of the implementation committee in Abuja, the Minister said the three percent for the host communities was in addition to existing goodies already enjoyed by the region.
He noted that the next task before his committee was to galvanize needed investments for the country.
On State Governors grouse over the ownership structure of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Sylva said it has not really changed as oil proceeds would be channeled into the federation account for all the tiers of government to share.
He added that the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat has the onerous task of developing the briefs that would be presented to the Steering Committee for consideration and approval.
“These briefs will cover all the relevant subject matters contemplated by the law, including the design of the institutions, personnel movements, development of procedures and processes for the institutions, model contracts and Regulations and generally providing legal advice on implementation matters.
“To ensure that the Steering Committee is in the position to get quality briefs from the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat, the latter has been organized into four workstreams as follows: Legal, Coordination & Planning, Communications and Stakeholder Management, Administration & Finance. Each of these workstreams has distinct mandates and expected outcomes which will be presented to the Steering Committee for consideration and possible approval.
“Given the timeline set by Mr. President and the urgency of the implementation requirement, there is no gainsaying the fact that total commitment to this assignment is a critical success factor. Undoubtedly, members of the Steering Committee possess the capacity to contribute to the transformation of the petroleum industry, and unlock the potentials that are replete in the entire value chain. Nigerians and our foreign stakeholders are watching and waiting, and we cannot afford to let them or ourselves down. We must do all that it takes to deliver on this assignment in a manner that best achieves our collective vision for bringing the anticipated gains to the country”, he explained.
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