The senator representing Bayelsa East, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, has cautioned his colleague, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, not to instigate violence in the Niger Delta region by making comments that could lead to civil unrest in the area.
Senator Degi was reacting to a recent media briefing by Senator Dickson, where he accused the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, of reducing the host communities’ development funds in the PIB to three per cent as against the five per cent proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
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This, according to Degi, is highly regrettable considering the ‘tireless efforts’ put in by the minister in actualising the long-awaited law.
According to him, the true story is that the PIB, as an executive bill, was represented to the National Assembly, proposing 2.5 per cent of the total operational cost as host communities’ development trust fund.
“The lead debate was hot and protracted in both chambers. Lawmakers from the Niger Delta region, including myself, argued for upward increase commensurate to our contributions and sacrifices. During the public hearing at various centres, host communities canvassed the same position.
“After a rigorous and painstaking process from plenary to conference committee, the National Assembly put the host communities’ funds at 3 per cent.