The Federal Government has been urged to come out with appropriate policies that would address the problems of host communities if the planned 2012 bi-round for oil blocks is to achieve its goals.
The Managing Director of Treasure Energy Resources Limited (TERL) Dr Eddie Wikina, who gave the advice in a statement made available to The Tide at the weekend said oil companies host communities should be given roles as stakeholders that could share in the profits, jobs and contracts generated from the development of theoil blocks in their lands.
“Henceforth host communities should be given stakes in the block or fields as means of ensuring peace and security and securing needed license to operate (LTC) the fields. Anything short of this will be futile and so, it is belter to include them from the start,” he noted.
He added that government should also work on policies that would encourage foreign investors to have confidence in the OIL AND Gas industry to enable them invest their funds and technology.
Describing the planned bid-round as very timely and a welcome development, the TERL boss said “if government is serious about addressing the unemployment and under-development plaguing the Niger Delta that had fueled restiveness among y youths, it is pertment that all discovered and abandoned oil fields be given out to interested firms that could transform them to value creation assets.”
This, according to him, would generate needed employment in the region as it would earn more money for the government for social and infrastructure development as well as increase Nigeria’s out put among oil producing nations.
He also advised the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to give considerationto host states that suffer the impact of oil and gas operations, saying “some state governments have deliberately established companies and agencies as special purpose vehicles (SPVs) staffed with qualified professionals for this unique purpose. The Rivers State Treasure Energy Resource Limited he noted, is a clear example adding that this new bid-round would be conducted with total Transparency and must be devoid of corruptive tendencies.
“Nigeria must start to convince the world that there is a change in the way business is conducted in order to erase the negative world perception of a country where bribery and corruption rule the industry. The People of the Niger Delta will be watching with Keen interest”, he stressed.