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Gas flaring: Oil bearing communities demand N98bn compensation

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The Abia state chapter of the Oil and Gas Host Communities of Nigeria has demanded N98 billion from the Federal Government as part of the accumulated compensation for gas flaring.
Chief Jonathan Ezere, the chairman of the association, who made the demand on Friday while briefing journalists in Umuahia, put the total amount of compensation at N1 trillion.
Ezere claimed that the compensation was a product of a tripartite agreement reached in 1958 between host communities on one hand and the Federal Government and the oil multinational companies on the other.
He claimed that the oil multinationals had paid the money into government coffers and demanded that the government should pay an initial N98 billion and thereafter, agree with the association on how to pay the balance.
“We are not fighting the Federal Government to pay us this money mistakenly paid into its account; it is our right; Government must release the money to address numerous environmental challenges in the area.”
The chairman accused the government of developing other parts of the country with the oil revenue while the communities suffered from environmental degradation.
“If this money is given to us, we can use it to provide pipe borne water, cottage industries, modular refineries, credit facilities and other things to empower our people.”
Ezere told reporters that the group was awaiting President Goodluck Jonathan’s response on the matter, having forwarded its demand through the Minster of Petroleum Resources. NAN

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