The Host Communities of Nigeria, Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCON) has called on stakeholders in Northern states to ensure greater inclusiveness and participation of the region in oil and gas sector.
This is to improve the capacity of citizens and tackle unemployment In the country.
Chairman, HOSTCON, Kogi and North Central, His Eminence, Bishop Gabriel Ojoka, gave the advice during an accreditation and planning of program exercise for the inauguration of Northern states in Abuja.
Ojoka said that the call became more pertinent following the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) by President Muhammadu Buhari on Aug. 16, 2021.
He noted that the provisions of the PIA allowed states take responsibility of the facilities of oil and gas via recruitment of pipeline surveillance recruitment.
He added that Niger Delta had done that already believing that it would give room for more job creation by the time Northern states comes on board.
According to him, “we have to educate and enlighten people to know that they have windows of opportunities of job in that particularly PIA’’.
“We have been on courtesy call to several of the chairmen to the states and traditional council in Northern states area and we have written to several northern states Governors .
“In time pass, it was only Kogi that was on board far back as 2015/2016, but as of today, other Northern states have started indicating interest and this shows progress in the advocacy.
“So with pipelines in the North, the fact remains that they can participate in the dividend of the oil and gas.
“For instance, Kaduna state has a refinery but they have not been declared and they need to participate and we have other places we have find out as well, ” he said.
Also speaking, the Odomata Igala, Kogi, Dr Ocheni Jacob, tasked all Northern states to put hands together for the unity of the country following the recognition of Kogi as an oil region.
Jacob noted that youths across the region would not be left behind in terms of employment provided a united front was created to achieve the great development.
“Since one of the states has been recognised as one of the oil producing state which is Kogi State and our natural resources is enormous, we will laugh last, ” he said.
HOSTCON legal Adviser, Mr Attah Isaac, said that the aim of the meeting was for the Northern states to reap from being part of oil producing states.
“The welfare of our teeming youth will be enhanced and with this pipeline security arrangement on board, I am sure some of them will have security duties to perform and they will earn a living from there,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) into law in a bid to reform Nigeria’s lucrative but chaotic oil and gas industry On Aug. 16.
Oil and gas is the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, contributing about 10% to the country’s gross domestic product.