The need for the reconciliation and harmonisation of the two different versions of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB recently passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly has been canvassed by a management and business development expert, George Omo-Idehen. Omo-Idehen suggested that this should be “mandatorily and carefully done, with all objections voiced by Niger Deltans adequately addressed before a meticulously revised version can be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent”.
He noted that “In the fore of their objections, is the demand for an upward review of the equity sharing and its reversal to the initially proposed figure of 10%, from the passed figure of 3% and 5% respectively, which is proper”.
Though he commended members of the National Assembly for their hard work and courage in finally passing the PIB, he cautioned that the work was not yet complete, noting that it has not done justice to oil communities.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Benin titled ‘NDDC: Promises Made, Promises Unfulfilled’, Omo-Idehen said overhauling the operational modalities of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC which is yet to have a substantive board, was the only way out for the agency in achieving its core objectives. He said a clarion call was necessary now to change the narrative at the NDDC positively for the benefit of the people of the region.
He regretted that since the creation of the interventionist agency, it had been plagued with high level of corruption, mismanagement, and unnecessary political squabbles by those responsible for running it.
He said the NDDC was established to correct the inadequacies of earlier intervention agencies like the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority, (NDBDA) and the Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC), hitherto set up to meet the infrastructure development of the area. He lamented that these two agencies were known to have been self-euthanized on the grounds of mismanagement, corruption, and political tussles.
Omo-Idehen however expressed concern that the NDDC presently treads a similar path as it has gained notoriety for “under-performance and delivery of poorly executed projects” which he feared could have no direct or meaningful impact on the lives of Niger Deltans.
According to him, “successful organizations, government or private, achieve positive results only when members of the organisation incorporate new policies and innovations into existing operations”. While tasking the federal government to present new policy architecture to subsequently drive the commission, Omo-Idehen said such policy framework like the PIB recently passed by the National Assembly, was plausible since it gives host communities a certain percentage from oil revenues for accelerated development, among others.
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