BY: Udeoba Donald Chisom
From the Oloibiri Commercial Oil discovery days thorough to the Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission, OMPADEC era, till the present day Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, you would discover that Leaders of the Rich Oil Regions have nothing, developmentally, to show for the Huge Royalties and Percentages accorded them by law.
Even if the 5% Benefits demanded by the Host Communities as suggested in the Raw Documents of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, their leaders will still have nothing developmentally, to show for it.
Of all Nine (9) Niger Delta States, that benefited and still benefitting from the Thirteen Percent (13%) Derivation Funds from the Consolidated Revenue Coffers of the Federal Government, with even Special Royalties and Joint Tax Board involvement tagged Internal Generated Revenue, IGR, being paid regularly by the International Oil Companies, IOCs, nothing serious, developmentally, is seen on ground in these states.
In Delta State, Nigeria, Communities such as Warri, Kwale, Isoko are all examples where Marginal Fields Oil Activities and Onshore Oil Activities take place, but no visible corresponding development is seen in these areas.
Nkanu west (enugu) could favourably compete in visible development with Isoko and Kwale, if one would agree.
Oil Producing Communities should look inwards and develop its Efficient Monitoring Mechanisms on all Benefits lawfully accruing to the Communities and see if it truly corresponds with the physical development on ground.
The Leaders of the Rich oil Producing Communities are the problem and not necessarily the Percentage Benefits dedicated to these Communities by law.
Local Content is real.
The Rich oil Producing Communities and their Leaders cannot deny to have benefitted sufficiently and still benefitting from the Local Content Provisions in the Oil and Gas Sector.
I so submit.
About the Author
Donald Chisom Udeoba is a graduate of Public Administration from the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State. A social commentator and political analyst.