Oil and gas host communities in the Niger Delta region have disclosed commitments to support oil and gas firms to end militancy in the oil producing states.
The communities, under the aegis of Oil and Gas Host Communities Association, said beyond dialogue, it was ready to initiate development and empowerment programmes that would engage the aggrieved youths.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, the association’s spokesperson, Franklyn Nneji, stated that most youths had to engage in militancy due to joblessness and destruction of their environment.
He condemned situations where reasonable revenue of the federal government was sourced from the region, yet the host communities remained poor and under-developed.
Nneji said, “The association wants to ensure that people of the host communities are adequately engaged and empowered. This is for the interest of the people, the oil and gas companies and the nation at large.
“The major cause of insecurity, youth restiveness and militancy is idleness, lack of what to do to earn a living. Youths of the host communities are roaming the street without anything to do to support their existence, it may be difficult for them to be employed but the surest way for them to be engaged is though self-employment, but then, how can they be self-employed without technical and financial support?
“The oil and gas host communities association will therefore identify the people of the Host Communities and harness their potentials to ensure that they are adequately engaged and empowered.”
The association informed that in order to achieve their mandate, it would encourage formal education among the host communities, source for available amenities for people of the host communities and encourage entrepreneurship among the people.
“The oil and gas host communities association will make this possible by liaising with the necessary organs of government, multinationals, oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria and also ensure that all conflicts are resolved through dialogue. It is a new approach to bring peace,” Nneji added.
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