Turkana leaders urge residents to allow oil exports next month
Governor Josphat Nanok and Petroleum and Mining secretary John Munyes have urged residents to allow oil to leave for the Early Oil Pilot Scheme in June.
The two leaders from the vast pastoral county said they had united and relaxef the rigid stance to ensure Kenya becomes an oil producer after a pact with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.
“The president told us that he has accepted to remove capping clause on revenue as we had demanded, but told us to ensure that we drop the share for the host community from 10 to three per cent but we stuck at 7.5 per cent. We later agreed on five per cent for the host community,” said Mr Nanok.
The leaders urged residents to be content with the agreement and support the flagging off of the first trucks to transport oil to Mombasa in June after a legal framework to guide the extractive industry is put in place.
The governor said the move would ensure the county immediately starts enjoying benefits from oil once it hits the market before oil pipeline is constructed for full-scale production.
“Issues as leaders and community will next be dealing with the Petroleum ministry will be land where the oil has been discovered as well as compensation for those who will be affected by the pipeline,” said the governor.
Mr Munyes said the stalemate that was also in Parliament over the Petroleum Bill 2017 had been resolved.
“Lokichar residents are the ones living where oil was discovered, the trucks transporting oil will start in June heading to Mombasa and I urge you to welcome the President and allow oil to leave,” he said.
The minister said he would ensure that Tullow Oil Company discloses how its operations will benefit Turkana residents, especially where oil was discovered such as jobs and corporate social responsibility.
Turkana South MP James Lomenen and his Turkana East counterpart Ali Lokiru who are members of the parliamentary Committee on Energy said they were satisfied with the deal, adding that the most contentious issue was to cap on oil revenue sharing to county and host community.
“For the host community share, any sub-county where oil will have been discovered will be getting five per cent each without capping. Turkana East and Turkana South sub-counties will each get their share as well as even benefit from the county allocation and the national government allocation,” said Mr Lomenen.
Mr Lokiru urged Turkana residents to accept the oil revenue share they had been allocated, but promised the MPs would ensure the county gets its rightful share of oil from the national government.