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The Ijaw Youth Council has backtracked on its rejection of the Petroleum Industry Act.

The council, however, called for a review of the composition of the host community development trust prescribed in the PIA to administer the three per cent revenue allotted to host communities.

This was contained in a statement in Yenagoa on Wednesday titled, ‘IYC accepts Petroleum Industry Act’, issued by the council’s spokesman, Ebilade Ekerefe.

The IYC had in August rejected the PIA in protest and declared that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, were no longer welcomed in the Niger Delta as a result of their roles in the passage and signing of the bill into law.

Ekerefe said that the council accepted the new petroleum industry legislation “after several deliberations with stakeholders, including political leaders, youth bodies, women and civil society groups.”

He claimed that findings by the IYC indicated that chapter three of the PIA establishing the host community development trust and its composition did not specify the inclusion of stakeholders from host communities.

Ekerefe said, “The IYC is calling for a review of the composition and management of the Host Community Development Trust to include representatives of the state governments, local governments, youths and women from the host communities.

“The importance of the inclusion of these stakeholders cannot be overemphasized. The state and local governments have played a major role in ensuring peace in the region that was not breached.

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“They have served as Chief Security Officers of their domains and worked with the youths, women and traditional rulers to sustain the existing peace in the host communities and outside. Their inclusion will further deepen the peace, and lead to pragmatic development of the host communities.”

The council, therefore, advised Sylva to heed the call for a town hall meeting with the Niger Delta people on the provisions of the PIA and its implications for the region.

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