Host Communities of Nigeria (Producing Oil & Gas) Saturday, inaugurated the Lagos State Chapter Executives to champion the fight for total inclusion of Lagos State as an oil producing state in the country.
The event which came up at the Council Chamber of Badagry Local Government had in attendance all the major traditional rulers within the coastal region to commemorate the auspicious event, marking the official beginning for the agitation of Lagos State inclusion in all Oil & Gas Agencies in the country.
Delivering his speech at the event, the National Chairman HOSCON, Prince Dr. Mike Emuh (JP) stated that the establishment of the body was necessitated by continuing negligence of host communities by the government leading to a need to agitate for the rights and privileges to be enjoyed by the communities.
“HOSCON (Producing Oil & Gas) is the umbrella organization representing the interest of all oil & gas producing and impacted communities/states in Nigeria. Lagos State has been recognized as an oil & gas producing state with two oil blocks. We need to have state executives that will drive the fight to ensure the host communities enjoy their benefits.
“I want you to know that the Presidency, NNPC, NDDC and other relevant Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs) are aware that we are here today to inaugurate the state executives, so I want to congratulate you all”. He said.
Prince Dr. Emuh stated that the agitation for rights by host communities of oil & gas is necessary noting that this calls for the inauguration of the state executives to push for all the benefiting rights and entitlements to be fully implemented by the Federal/State Government and oil producing company.
“The formation of HOSCON is our strategic response to finding a lasting solution to the cruxes that emerge from the oil producing communities. It is necessary to state that HOSCON is the grassroots body that relate at the community level with the FG and MDAs”. He added
The Chairman therefore listed some of the demands of HOSCON from Federal Government which cut across the following:
Approval of Ten (10) Modular Refineries for HOSCON
Payment of Gas Flare Penalty Levy of Oil and Gas Companies (IOCs & NOCs) to HOSCON.
Upward Review and Payment of 13% Oil Derivation directly to Oil & Gas Communities.
Pipeline Surveillance Contract to be awarded to HOSCON by NNPC/FGN
Allocation of Oil block to Traditional Rulers.
He therefore charged the newly inaugurated executives to be proactive and responsive to the responsibility given to them, with the aim of driving for the total inclusion for the betterment of lives in Badagry and Lagos State as whole.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman Board of Trustees, HOSCON, His Excellency, HRM King Alfred Diete-Spiff, representing all Traditional Rulers of host Communities congratulated the new executives and the people of Badagry at large, noting that the giant step has been taken by inaugurating the executives that will push for growth and development.
“I want to appreciate the Badagry Kingdom for hosting us, particularly the gallery of Traditional Rulers present here. Today is a very wonderful day and like I always say, if we do not fight for what rightfully belong to us, it will be difficult for another person to fight for us”. He added.
Delivering his Goodwill message, the Akran of Badagry, HRM, De Wheno Aholu Menu Toyi 1, ably represented by High Chief Agoloto stated that the inaugurated state executives should work with enthusiasm, carrying everyone along as Badagry is one, to ensure growth and development is achieved in the host community.
The Akran therefore noted that there is need to inquire from the State Government to ascertain whether the 13% Derivation is paid by Federal Government or not as this will enhance the growth of the region.
“The Akran of Badagry is saying that nothing has been paid to the community from the 13% Oil Derivation and this body should rise to inquire of such fund. Oil is the natural gift given to us and our people must enjoy the rights belonging to them”. He added.
Responding, the newly inaugurated Chairman HOSCON, Lagos State Chapter, Alhaji (Dr.) Barr. Bisiriyu Lasisi while delivering his acceptance speech appreciated every individual who has played one role or the other to ensure the programme becomes a success, pointing out that the executives will work in unity to ensure the agitations of host communities are actualized.
Dr. Lasisi noted that the executive is ready to work with the support of the Traditional Rulers across the region and other relevant stakeholders to ensure Badagry development plan is achieved.
“Today, history of HOSCON body has been made in Lagos State and I want to use this medium to appeal to Lagos State Government that since November 2016 when Oil Derivation fund has been coming into the State coffers, through the Federal Account, the Oil producing Communities are expected to benefit certain rights and privileges that must be tagged on oil and gas proceeds.
Other prominent personalities present at the event are Hon. Babatunde Hunpe, Member, House of Representatives, Badagry Federal Constituency; his predecessor, Rt. Hon. Joseph Bamgbose; Chairman, BCCI Board of Trustees Dr. Sunny Ajose ably represented; among others.