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Turkana leaders vow to fight for 10 percent oil share benefits

RIFT VALLEY
By Lucas Ngasike and Joan Letting | January 9th 2017
Governor Josphat Nanok (left) claimed the move was a plot by the Jubilee administration to exploit locals by deliberately reducing the benefits.

Turkana leaders have vowed to lobby other lawmakers to reverse proposed changes aimed at giving residents only five per cent of accrued benefits from oil.

Led by Senator John Munyes and area MPs, the leaders faulted the national government's plan to amend the Petroleum Bill 2015 to deny local communities a 10 per cent oil share benefit as earlier proposed.

Speaking to The Standard, the leaders said the five per cent reduction of the share was unfair for residents, adding they were working day and night to ensure the proposal would not go through.

They were angered that President Uhuru Kenyatta returned to Parliament the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill and recommended drastic changes to the benefits sharing formula, which he slashed by five per cent.

"We are calling for the reinstatement of the earlier 10 per cent oil revenue benefits proposal for the host communities. We will not tire of lobbying to ensure that we get back the 10 per cent that was passed by the two houses. The reduction from 10 per cent to five per cent amounts to robbing local communities of their rightful share of the proceeds" said Mr Munyes.

The senator also criticised some leaders in the county for settling political scores using the disputed oil sharing formula.

Governor Josphat Nanok claimed the move was a plot by the Jubilee administration to exploit locals by deliberately reducing the benefits.

"We are aware of Jubilee's huge borrowing spree. We are afraid this oil will be sold in wholesale to pay trillions worth of accrued foreign debt, leaving the community impoverished," he said.

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