‘Niger Delta should own 65% of oil wells’ – Lawmakers

South-South and South-East lawmakers, over the weekend, called on the Federal Government to reconsider the ownership structure of oil wells in Nigeria so as to allow the Niger Delta region to own 65 percent of oil wells.

Rising from the first joint session of the Houses of Assembly from the South-South and South-East in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the lawmakers called on the federal government to end the ongoing menace of Fulani herdsmen in both regions.

The lawmakers said, “The people of the Niger Delta region should possess at least 65 per cent of the oil wells contrary to the present ownership structure where less than 10 per cent of the oil blocks belong to our people.”

The joint session noted that development in the region was being hindered by the present method of payment to oil communities.

“There is an urgent need for the Federal Government of Nigeria to put in place adequate machinery that would ensure direct payment of derivative oil funds into the hands of Niger Delta benefiting communities.”

“Legislators of the Houses of Assembly in the South-South and South East can no longer watch helplessly as our region drifts aimlessly while our people walk the razor edge under the strain of impoverishment, environmental degradation, insecurity and uncertainty on the one hand and the destruction of oil/gas installations and the attendant consequences including their impact on the eco-system and the economy on the other hand.”

They however condemned the acts of violence in the region and called on the youths to embrace peace.

On the activities of Fulani herdsmen, the lawmakers said: “They must save the people of the geo-political zones from the hands of the marauding herdsmen. Governments of the South-East and South-South geo-political zones should set up a high powered joint judicial panel of inquiry to unravel the facts and circumstances surrounding the incessant attacks by the herdsmen and determine the best way to prevent its recurrence in the zones. They should also establish special task force drawn from the various security agencies and neighborhood watch in each local government to checkmate the excesses of herdsmen and prosecute them.”

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