By Ediri Ejoh
LAGOS — Away from the current security challenges in the Niger Delta over compensations, Petroleum experts, yesterday, called on the Federal Government, to adopt strategies implemented by some foreign countries in finding lasting solution to the ongoing crisis in the region.
Making this call at the just concluded Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition, NAICE, in Lagos, the former Special Adviser to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Petroleum Matters, Dr Emmanuel Egbogah, said compensating individuals or community heads won’t resolve the crisis.
He argued that instead, more efforts should be geared towards creating agro-based community empowerment, rather than enriching some individuals in disputes management.
According to him, for lasting solutions to issues currently bedevilling the economy, there is need for “Agro-based community empowerment.”
He advised that “instead of settling kings and chiefs, create agro-based community empowerment initiatives as potential panacea to host community challenges.
“It is what solved agitations in Indonesia and in many other countries where there were agitations.”
He also added that such scheme will also involve “taking them out for training.” He called for each oil company to embark on agro-based empowerment programmes.
“Also, there should be operational land owner’s royalty to host communities. Royalty should vary by terrain; it has been proved successful elsewhere like New Zealand, etc.”
On way forward for the downturn in the oil industry, he called for diversification of the economy.