NBA, NDDC Seek Resource
Ownership at Community Level
Ogbu in Port Harcourt
|Niger Delta Oil Industry
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Nigeria
Bar Association (NBA) yesterday rose from a conference in Port Harcourt,
Rivers State with a recommendation that communities should own and control
onshore and offshore oil deposits in their areas and pay royalties to the
The position contained in a 25-paragraph communiqué issued at the end of the
conference tagged: “Law and Development Project” translates to resource
control by the communities.
Communities in Niger Delta playing host to most of the multi-national oil
companies have always insisted on resource control.
Participants at the conference said the outcome of the parley would form the
backbone of bills NBA would soon send to the National Assembly.
In a communiqué signed by the First Vice-President, NBA, Chief George Akuro,
and Acting Director of Legal Services in NDDC, George Ero, the conference
also recommended the review of some oil and gas laws and regulations as well
as the abrogation of the Land Use Act as they affect participation and
ownership of oil facilities.
The organizers who refused to take questions from journalists after
presenting their communiqué also canvassed for a mechanism that will enable
participation by host communities in decision making especially on matters
According to the communiqué, “There should be a review of all oil and gas
laws, regulations and the Land Use Act as they affect ownership and
“Ownership and control of both offshore and onshore oil be vested in the
communities with a proviso to pay royalties to determine the level of
“A new mechanism be devised that would enable oil communities to participate
in decisions concerning oil exploration and production activities as the
current regime expropriates the rights of the communities.”
The conference also called for a law to make the Niger Delta Regional
Development master plan a binding document for the development of the
Participants at the conference also counseled the region to enter into
dialogue with the Federal Government in order to help enforce the legal
rights of the people of the region.