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Turkana leaders call for passage of Petroleum Law

By Joan C Letting | Updated Wed, May 17th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
A general view shows an oil rig used in drilling at the Ngamia-1 well on Block 10BB, in the Lokichar basin PHOTO:COURTESY

Two Turkana leaders have vowed not to allow the transportation of crude oil until the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill is enacted.

Transportation of the oil from the Turkana oil fields is expected to start early next month under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme. 

Speaking separately, Turkana South MP James Lomenen and his political rival Lynus Nakiporo (ODM) declared the oil would leave the county only when they were assured of the community’s share.

The community has demanded its share must remain at 10 per cent and not five per cent as recommended by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The President returned to Parliament the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill and recommended drastic changes to the benefits sharing formula, which he reduced to five per cent.

Nakiporo said the President should sign the Bill in its original form to ensure the community benefits.

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“The Turkana people want 30 per cent of the oil revenue. That is 10 per cent to the community and 20 per cent to the county government. If President Uhuru Kenyatta does not sign it, all oil operations will be suspended,” said Nakiporo.

BIG JOKE

He added: “The reason given by the President about the percentage that Turkana (County) Government cannot absorb the funds is a big joke. It is actually a slap on our faces.

The Jubilee leadership is not one that has the people’s interest at heart,” said  Nakiporo, the County Executive in charge of Pastoral Economy and Fisheries.

He blamed lack of information for protests and disagreements on the oil issue.

“When people are informed, the possibility of misinformation is diminished. The oil companies operating in the area must respect the people’s aspirations, safety, health concerns, that the Turkana people exist and that there is a leadership system in place,” said  Nakiporo.

Lomenen said he fully supported the bill. “No oil will be transported if the bill, roads and electricity are not properly in place. I will stand to ensure that 20 per cent of the oil revenues goes to the county and 10 per cent goes to the community as stated in the proposed law,” he said. 

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