By Temewei Mary
Niger Delta oil and gas producing Host Communities, (Hoscon), has condemned the move by South-South governors to appoint trustees for the Host Communities Trust Commission.
It was learnt the governors had decided to appoint trustees for the Commission, which was directly responsible for the development of oil and gas communities in the region.
The National Chairman of Hoscon, Dr Mike Emuh, who chart with media personnel disclosed this, adding it was not the responsibility of Niger Delta governors to appoint board to oversee the PIA fund.
According to the chairmans: “The PIA is made up of three broad spectrums, namely the law that guides the government, the law that guides the oil companies and the law that guides the host communities.
“The governors cannot decide for the host communities. 13 per cent Derivation Fund was provided for in the 1999 Constitution as amended. Section 162(2) made it compulsory that the 13 per cent Derivation Fund is for the host communities as a result of their loss of fishing rights and farming rights.
“But the governors are the ones enjoying it till today. They hijacked it from the host communities.
“These people (governors) have misappropriated over N44 trillion so far. They still want to hijack the three per cent of the Host Communities Trust Fund in the PIA again.
“Three per cent Trust Fund is an issue that has to do with the entire oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta. It does not have anything to do with governors.”
He maintained: “I want to say that whatever meeting the governors held, our destiny is not in their hands. We have been suffering in their hands.
“They are the problems we have been having in the Niger Delta. Thank God for President Muhammadu Buhari who has brought to an end the crisis that was in the Niger Delta in terms of pipeline vandalism, in terms of illegal refineries and stealing of crude oil.
“Today, these things have been minimized. So, the governors should not come to look for the trouble of the host communities.
“I want to say that they have the right to express their will but we will allow the provision of the law for the implementation.
“The law made it very compulsory that the host communities will carry out the nomination of the people to control the three per cent in the Host Communities Trust Fund Commission.
“It is called Host Communities Trust Fund Commission in the PIA, not Governors Trust Fund Commission.” He explained.