President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that he would ensure that he worked within the law to ensure that oil and gas resources producing communities received the 13 per cent derivation fund.
The president made the pledge when he received the Board of Trustees of the Host Communities of Nigeria producing Oil and Gas (HOSCON) led by its Chairman, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.
Buhari said that his administration would ensure that the 13 per cent derivation fund being enjoyed by the states in the Niger Delta Region was judiciously utilized.
According to him, the derivation fund is constitutionally enshrined and hence all affected oil communities must partake in it.
“The relevant constitutional laws regarding the 13 per cent derivation fund must be duly observed by the affected state governments in the Niger Delta region,’’ he said.
The president however, urged leaders in the region to continue to educate the youths in their respective domains on the need to shun any act capable of disrupting peace and stability in the area.
Earlier in his remarks, Diete-Spiff, who is also the Amayanabo of Twon-Brass, announced that HOSCON was negotiating with foreign investors/partners on mechanized agriculture, modular refineries, fertilizer plant and gas utility plant/electricity generating project.
Diete-Spiff, who was also the first military governor of old Rivers State, presented HOSCON’s top priority demands to the federal government.
The demands included the release of accrued gas flare penalty money amounting to N98 billion to the host communities.
“Agitation for the payment of gas flare penalty fund to HOSCON is ongoing and has secured the listening ears of the Vice President and hopefully that of Mr President himself.
“We wish to state unequivocally with full assurance that if these requests of the host communities are granted, HOSCON will ensure that the funds are judiciously utilized,’’ he said.
The HOSCON leader said the gesture would economically uplift and empower the Niger Delta people, stop crude theft, youth militancy, pipeline vandalism and illegal refineries.