The Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, has said that the selection of members of the Petroleum Industry Act’s Steering Committee was based on different offices involved and not sentiments.
The Minister disclosed that the government is making efforts to incorporate more women, adding that the implementation working group would be more diverse and inclusive.
He said, “Let us not over flog this situation because when you say you are nominating, it is offices that are represented.
“I represent the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and then the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, there is no way because of gender equality I am going to look for somebody else to be here apart from the permanent secretary.
“When I say the Executive Secretary Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) is the secretariat, there is no way I can go and change the ES PTDF.
“If I say the GMD NNPC is to be a member, we cannot look for a South-South GMD or a South-East GMD.”
He assured that the issues would be considered and that they were some of the issues the PIA would correct; transparency and inclusiveness.
On the 3% host community fund, he said those agitating on it were politicians as most respected Niger Delta leaders were yet to speak against it.
He expressed confidence that there would be no unrest in the region concerning the host community fund.
“Frankly I don’t know why there would be unrest in the Niger Delta. I know that there are a lot of politicians who have taken this as a political issue and they are politicising it but I have not heard the leaders of the Niger Delta that I respect kick against this.
“I see a lot of politicking around this issue but I have not really seen very senior Niger Delta people that we all respect that are apolitical speak about this.
“Let us wait and see what this money will do,” he added.
He further assured that the government would have no role in the management of the fund as it would be determined by the operating companies and the communities.