'PIA, Water Bill Tantamount to Internal Colonisation of N'Delta' – THISDAY Newspapers

Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
A coalition of Niger Delta Groups under the canopy of Forum for Ethnic Nationalities of Niger Delta (FENND) has described as outrageous the institution of certain obnoxious laws by the Nigerian state that are slanted against the Niger Delta.
Citing as ridiculous three per cent allocation to the host communities in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the group claimed it was a recipe for a resurgence of crisis in the oil-rich region.
FENND stated that the vexatious and undemocratic provisions of the PIA, together with the Water Resources Bill, left no one in doubt that somebody was hell-bent on foisting internal colonisation on the Niger Delta region.
The Convener, Dortimi Kester Tawari, noted that the constant strangulation of the region by the federal government through administrative manipulation, did not portray the government as one genuinely concerned with the best interest of a country seeking peaceful coexistence amongst its ethnic nationalities.
According to him, FENND at the end of its summit held on Saturday, August 14, 2021 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, reviewed the situation in the country and in particular, issues having direct impact on the Niger Delta and her people, on their environment and on the prosperity of their future generations.
Addressing newsmen in Asaba, FENND vowed to initiate legal processes and pushback against identified repressive and oppressive pieces of legislation as well as sectionally motivated tendencies against the people of the Niger Delta region, as exemplified in the Petroleum Industry Act and the Water Resources Bill still before the National Assembly, because they were clearly skewed against the region that bears the burden of the negative effects of oil exploration and exploitation especially, by multi-national oil companies such as environmental degradation.
FENND said, “The question is, why the arbitrary three per cent that is neither a product of negotiation nor objective valuation of costs to the people and their environment nor compensation for products of their land to which they have universal understanding of natural rights of claim to proceeds. The rights of claim of the nation is through the rights of claim of the Niger-Delta people.”
The group also took a swipe at the proponents of the Water Resources Bill presently before the National Assembly, saying it is synonymous with the notorious RUGA proposed by the Buhari administration designed to further subjugate the largely impoverished people of the region, whose lives were intricately tied to the water resources.
FENND observed, “On Water Resources Bill, we agreed and do declare that water being essential to the lives of all living things including human beings is of existential value to the people and ecosystem of the Niger Delta. The terrain of the Niger Delta compels total dependence of several communities on our waters.
“We observe that the Water Resources Bill is premised on Decree 101 of 1993 promulgated by the Military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, which abrogated the Federal System of Water Governance, wherein individual states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had jurisdiction over regulation, management and development of their water resources.
“This decree transformed into the Water Resources Act of 2004 and was subsequently incorporated into the 1999 Constitution as amended. The WRB is thus, a form of retrograde transmogrification into Military dictatorship.
“The current Bill viz, Federal Government taking over the rights and duties of the States via the National Water Resources Regulatory Commission is in our view perverse, unnecessary and unjustifiable.”


84 thoughts on “'PIA, Water Bill Tantamount to Internal Colonisation of N'Delta' – THISDAY Newspapers”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.