The House of Representatives says the failure of government and oil companies to tackle the problems of host communities is responsible for the agitations experienced in the oil producing areas.
Chairman of the newly created House Committee on Host Communities, Umnamene Dekor who stated this at the inaugural meeting of the committee, said the host communities’ social and economic problems are far from being addressed.
Dekor said a visit to those areas will reveal utter neglect and abandonment, and wondered why “a people endowed with so much gain so little or next to nothing“
“The agitation of the host communities has been that of fair treatment and justice. We all are aware of the level of crass deprivation these people have suffered since the discovery of oil in their domain.
“Despite the riches, neither the oil companies nor government has shown strong will in addressing, the common needs of these host communities. The people have felt little or no impact of the government and Oil Companies who derive their revenue from oil prospecting in this land are yet to show zeal and genuine concern in the welfare of these people.
“The seeming silence by the Nigerian state and failure to intervene and protect the vulnerable people of the host communities is a violation of their being. The non compliance with universally accepted standard and safety procedures often employed by the oil companies in their exploration activities are gross mark of negligence about the welfare of the people”, he stated.
Dekor assured that the Committee would work hard for the realization of its objectives, which include fostering sustainable prosperity within host communities, providing direct social and economic benefits from petroleum operations to host communities.