The Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas had said it is targeting a $5bn fund in partnership with the private sector to kick-start investment drive and development in the oil-producing states in the country.
The Executive National Chairman of the body, Dr Mike Emuh, spoke during its national executive committee meeting in Warri.
“Since our financial investors said they are ready to the extent we are also ready, we have applied for a $5bn facility and we hope to pull this through and begin in earnest the aggressive investment in the basic areas of our interest in the oil and gas producing states across the country,” he said.
According to Emuh, while statutory financial allocations could come from the government for the development of the oil and gas-producing states, it was high time strategic steps were taken to involve the private sector.
He explained that such a step was necessary not only for managing such funds more efficiently but also for utilising financial resources from the private sector to augment partnerships that worked for the good of all parties.
Emuh eulogised the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Rted.), for his administration’s gesture towards the oil and gas-producing states by signing the Petroleum Industry Bill into law, now Petroleum Industry Act.
According to him, the payment of the 13 per cent derivation fund was done in appreciation of the challenges faced by the locals in the oil and gas communities.
He said there was need to look inwards and take some decisive steps to better the lot of the people while awaiting the implementation of the PIA.
Emuh added that the 13 percent derivation funds was supposed to be paid directly to the local communities instead to the state governments.
He said it was in this regard that the meeting was called to interface with assigned consultants on the investment drive to be briefed and decisions taken on the way forward.
In his presentation, David Audu, a trained architect, who served as consultant to HOSCON, listed five major areas that were being looked into for investment.