Ondo State Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has said a thorough job has to be done to identify the communities recognized by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as “Host Communities” and for them to be gazetted by National Boundary Commission (NBC).
This is to enable those communities benefit from the 3% set aside for them by PIA Act.
Mr Ayedatiwa made this submission in Akure while receiving the delegation of NBC who were on an advocacy visit on the determination of “Host Communities Along the Gulf of Guinea”.
The NBC team was in the State to work closely with Ondo State Boundary Commission so as to identify the communities recognized by the Acts as “Host Communities”.
According to him, Section 318 of the PIA, states- “a littoral community is a deep-water area of operation located along the Gulf of Guinea of the Nigerian shoreline up to about 500 meters inland, provided that such community is gazetted by the NBC”
He said the primary objectives of gazetting the host communities are to foster sustainable prosperity, enhance harmonious co-existence between Licenses/Lesses and host communities,
Aiyedatiwa applauded the NBC on their advocacy.
In his words, “your visit is a laudable idea and I want to assure you that for us in Ondo State, we will cooperate and collaborate with your Commission to ensure that all the Communities that fall within that region would benefit from the PIA, and non of these communities would be left out” .
He further stated that Ondo State Government would give all the necessary support to ensure that the exercise is successfully conducted.
In his Address Director General National Boundary Commission,Surveyor Adamu Adaji represented by the Director Internal Boundaries, Mr Nicholas Emiowele, appreciated the warm reception accorded them by the State Government, as well as the support the State has been given to NBC.
“We have partnered with you on some of the activities undertaken with respect to the common Interstate boundaries with your neighbours….we intend to make further progress on the emplacement of pillars on the required sector of the boundary”, he said.
Speaking further, Mr Emiowele said, “it is important that all the Communities within the specified 500m buffers from the coastline must be located and captured in the data bank of the Communities to be gazetted, for them to benefit adequately from the provisions of the Act.
“A previous survey had identified some of these communities, but it is imperative that the Commission, in conjunction with the Ondo State Boundary Commission, do a thorough compilation that can be defended.