Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has called for the speedy passage of the Host Communities Bill, an aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill that gives oil producing communities a sense of belonging.
Wike made the call in Port Harcourt during a Courtesy Visit by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill on Wednesday.
The governor stressed that the bill when passed will address the challenges faced by oil producing communities.
He said, “This is an important aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill as it concerns the host communities. The host communities will become a component part of the entire process.
“The oil producing communities are bedevilled by all kinds of environmental challenges. The passage of the host communities’ bill will give them a sense of belonging.”
Wike added that the passage of the bill will also enhance the security of petroleum pipelines because of the involvement of the host communities in the production process.
According to him, setting aside a certain percentage of funds for the development of host communities is vital.
He urged the Senate Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill to visit all slated communities for the necessary interactions as regards their peculiar needs.
Earlier, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill, Senator Kabiru Marafa said the Senate attaches importance to the passage of the Host Communities Bill.
He said that the Host Communities Bill will be passed before the long vacation of the Senate. He added that the initiative to segment the bill was to ease the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
“On the assumption of office, the eight National Assembly took it upon itself to break the jinx and pass the Petroleum Industry Bill once and for all,” he said.