The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has lampooned President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law despite opposition to some sections contained therein.
Mr Buhari on Monday appended his assent to the bill which allocates three per cent share to the development of host communities, a figure described as paltry from the Edwin Clark-led group.
Aside PANDEF, the 17 Southern State governors are also against the share which will include states where pipelines cut across.
But overlooking the outcry, Mr Buhari signed the bill into law, an action PANDEF through its national publicity secretary, Ken Robinson, described as being callous.
Mr Robinson in a statement on Monday said the people of the oil producing areas will respond appropriately after due consultation has been made.
“It’s quite unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari went ahead to assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill, despite the overwhelming outcry and condemnation that greeted its passage by the National Assembly, especially with regards to the paltry 3% provision for the Host Communities Development Trust Fund and the brazen appropriation of an outrageous 30% of NNPC Ltd profit for a dubious, nebulous Frontier Oil Exploration Fund,” he said.
“This PIB falls way short of the expectations of the Oil and Gas Producing Communities, that bear the brunt of unconscionable industry operations.
“This assent, by President Buhari, simply speaks to the repugnant attitude of disregard, propelled by arrogance, disdain and contempt with which issues concerning the Niger Delta Region are treated, particularly, by the present Administration.
“What this act signifies is an unequivocal message to the Niger Delta people that how they feel and what they say, do not count, at all, in the Schemes of the Nigerian Project.
“That’s insensitive, abominable and afar every boundary of proper Democratic practice, and, therefore, unacceptable to the good people of the Niger Delta, the critical economic nexus of the entire Nigerian territory.
“The Niger Delta people will speak, shortly, after full consultations, on this callous act, on the best legal and political response,” Robinson added.