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‘The Petroleum Industry Bill is unfair to Cross River State’ – Governor Ben Ayade

The Cross River State Governor, Sen Ben Ayade has expressed displeasure with the recently signed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), saying the PIB that is now PIA, is unfair to Cross Riverians as it continues to neglect the plight of the people of the state.

Ayade who made this known while receiving representatives of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in his office in Calabar, yesterday, said the law fails to address the concerns of the state despite the fact he had personally raised them with the relevant senate committee.

The Governor expressed his displeasure saying, “when the PIB committee visited, I took my time and articulated in the best of professional grammar to explain to them that producing communities are not as delicate and sensitive as impacted communities. Cross River State bears the brunt of production, but today the PIB is signed into law, insensitive to the oil impacted communities to which Cross River State belongs.

“In the same PIB, 30% of revenue is set aside for frontier exploration, luckily the Calabar basin which they refused to recognize in that category which stretches from all the mountain basins, cutting across the whole of Bakassi, Biase Odukpani, Okuni, Ogoja, Yala is heavily impregnated with hydrocarbon. The geo-coordinates have been issued by myself since 2016 to the federal government. Today we watch and see how the 30% set aside for the frontier exploration will be managed. And we will see what will happen to the Calabar basin.”

Ayade passed a vote of no confidence at the current revenue review process, saying that “there is no indication whatsoever that the review of the revenue allocation will be based on the principle of jurisprudence, equity and fair play.”

Responding, the representative of the state to Ntufam Nsa Eyo Whilley said they were in the state to sensitize the government and the people on the forthcoming stakeholders meeting with the leadership of the commission to collate views with regards to reviewing the current revenue formula.

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