The leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law.
The group led by elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, said it is a very “sad and bad day” for Nigeria that despite the overwhelming outcry of the people of the South-South zone, the President still went ahead and signed the PIB into law.
PANDEF had insisted that the equity share must be 10 percent for host communities and rejected the 3 percent allocated for host communities in the just signed Petroleum Industry Act.
“It clearly shows the disregard for the feelings and concerns of the Niger Delta people by the Buhari administration,” PANDEF spokesman, Ken Robinson, said.
Clark, who is also the leader of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), said the provision that allocated a huge 30percent of profits for further frontier oil exploration in the north was a source of concern, especially in a fast-changing world of investment shifts away from fossil oil.
He said the PIB does not reflect the long clamour by the people of the region for equity, fairness and justice, noting that the bill has dashed the hopes of the people of the Niger Delta.
In a statement issued by the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari assented to the Bill in his determination to fulfill his constitutional duty.
The passage of the PIB has proved to be a real nightmare for successive administrations since the need for the bill was first mooted by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
Recall that in 2018, after the National Assembly passed a harmonised version of the Bill — the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), President Buhari refused assent to it due to “legal and constitutional reasons”.