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Participants at an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Petroleum Industry for the ongoing legislative build up for the Petroleum Industry Government Bill (PGIB), have appealed that the communities hosting oil companies should be given clear roles to play through their youths so as to participate in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Key submission made at the conference is that indigenes of producing community should be involve in all oil exploration activities to reduce oil bunker and destruction of oil pipelines.
Stakeholders at the session held in River State also argued that if the law fails to create a window for the engagement of the youths that occupy 70 percent of the population, it will take time for relative peace to be on ground.
A participant and youth leader in one of the local government areas in River State, Mr. Obi Amadi averred that “There is nothing that you can discuss without the youth being involved. Those that carry out blockage are the youths. If they are involved in oil explorations it would reduce destruction of pipe lines and illegal refineries”.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Mr. Emmanuel Aguma, the Attorney General of Rivers State, advised the Federal Government to ensure that the youths of host communities are given recognition in the PIB bill.
According to him, agitations by the youths are too high and many, so the Federal Government should give the host communities a chance to become key stakeholders in the running and management of oil production activities.