HOSTCOM to partner traditional rulers as FG releases 98billion for gas flare penalty
By Omamuzo Efidhere
NATIONAL chairman of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, (HOSTCOM) Dr. Mike Emuh, has stated that HOSTCOM will partner with royal fathers in the utilization of the gas flaring penalty money released by the federal government.
He assured that the first instalment of 98billion naira out of the over 2trillion naira owed will not be spent without consulting the royal fathers from the host communities.
Emuh who spoke while addressing the Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom, HRM Dr. Wilson Ojakovo Oharisi III (JP), note that HOSTCOM cannot succeed without the backing of the royal fathers; saying if we were going to site industries and diversify into agriculture, who wouldl give us land? Such expanse of land can only be provided by traditional rulers and host communities.
According to him, HOSTCOM and the royal fathers must come together to decide what to do with the 98 billion recently released as the federal has stated that it has to be tied to human capital development projects across the Niger-Delta region.
“When I came into office ten months ago, HOSTCOM had no national office, no Email address or website but today we do. Today federal government have agreed to give us oil block, approved that HOSTCOM must be a member of the board of NNPC and now no one can take decisions about oil and gas without HOSTCOM being present. Having meant with different foreign investors, we are now partners with USA, China, UK and Italy.
“We have employed six consultants and two sub-consultants. We intend to build a world class hospital were all traditional rulers can have access to free medical treatment instead of travelling abroad for check up. We intend to build Oil and Gas University of technology, were courses such as aerometric engineering, marine engineering, nautical engineering and others will be offered.”
Responding, HRM Dr. Wilson Ojakovo Oharisi III promised to bring his wealth of experience to bear on this new responsibility accorded him by the HOSTCOM chairman, assuring that he will not hesitate to come out whenever he is called upon. The monarch applauded the initiative of the chairman and his effort in bringing development to the grassroots.
At the palace of Odiologbo of Oleh kingdom, HRM, A. Ovrawah Omogha I, the monarch promised to do anything within his power to help HOSTCOM to succeed in its task. He however advised the chairman to remain committed to his duty while adding that with unity between HOSTCOM and traditional rulers, there will be peace and unending progress in the Niger-Delta region.
The HOSTCOM national chairman was accompanied by: Primate, Dr. Moses Ogbodogbo (JP), National Director of Clergy Hostcom, Comm. V.I.O Edjelakpo, National Chairman Security Dept., Chief Vevakpor, Delta Central Chairman Hostcom, Chief Ekioja Tony, coordinator for chief and Royal fathers, Hon Andrew .T Tuoyor, National leader of Hostcom, Comr. Samuel Agadia, Delta Central youth leader, Mrs. Grace Ayimi Ogigi (JP) S.A Welfare and Deaconess F. Awani Akande, National welfare officer.