Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Ogbia community in Bayelsa State has suggested that the Federal Government of Nigeria set aside two percent of all its oil and gas revenue for the development of the Ogbia people.
The community equally demanded an upward review of all benefits due to the Ogbia people.
The community leaders suggested that such funds be made available to the community directly instead of the practice of channeling the funds through the state government.
Chairman, Ogbia Brotherhood, Unity Branch, Abuja, Robert Nadioni, told our correspondent shortly after taking the oath of office as chairman of the Abuja branch, that the community was fast losing its identity and ecosystem due to long abandonment from government.
“It is regrettable that the 13 percent derivation being paid to oil resource states by the Federal Government has been hijacked by various states government, thus leaving communities to wallow in abject poverty and underdevelopment,” Nadioni complained.
“We are happy that the current Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the National Assembly made good consideration for that, even though the bill is still being debated in the National Assembly. It recommended 10 percent, and we are happy with whichever one that comes first.”
The community leaders also suggested that the road that leads to the first oil well in Nigeria in Oloibiri, from the East-West road, should be declared a federal road and be treated as such.
Meanwhile, the community has proposed institutionalization of an annual memorial lecture in honour of Chief Melford Obiene Okilo and his legacies which are too important not to be immortalized.
The Enai Ogbia, King Charles Owaba, supported the call for a special fund that would expedite human and infrastructural development of the oil resource communities.
He reminded members of the community that development is a shared responsibility that should be taken seriously by all.