June 17, 2024

HOSTCOM says oil firms funds 70 HCDTs with over N80bn

FUPRE VC lauds FG on commercialisation of Gas Project

By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

THE Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM, has disclosed that oil firms have funded seventy Host Development Communities Development Trusts, HCDTs, with over N80billion in compliance with the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.

National President of HOSTCOM, Dr Benjamin Style Tamaranebi(JP)  disclosed this weekend in Uyo during a townhall meeting, organised by Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) in conjunction with HOSTCOM project management and advisory Konsult Ltd, for Akwa Ibom and Abia States (HCDTs) and settlors.

Tamaranebi who spoke on the topic “Host Communities Trust Financing and Utilisation of Host Communities Trust Fund”, explained that the amount was for 2021 and 2022, noting that the funds for 2023 were being expected.

He, however worried that some Oil and gas producing communities in the region were yet to be funded from the three per cent Operational Expenditure (3% OPEX), due to disputes delaying the formation and inauguration of their Trusts.

His words, “Some Host communities Development Trusts had been funded with the required three percent OPEX. We  have clearly verified that seventy (70) Trusts had been funded with the sum of more than 80billion Naira.  And the dollar component is more than 150million dollars.

 “This is just for 2021 and 2022.

The 2023 funds are still being expected. Out of the hundred and sixty-seven (167) HCDTs that were incorporated, only seventy(70) had been funded.

“With this development I can assure you within the gap of 5years there’s going to be massive transformation in our oil and gas communities.

What we have been advocating over the years is that host communities producing Oil and gas should be allowed to manage their resources to develop our communities”

In his remarks, Commission Chief Executive at the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Engr Gbenga Komolafe identified  the achievements of the commission to include setting up two Dispute Resolution centers in Lagos and Bayelsa states to ensure adequate mediation of disputes arising from the HCDTs implementation process.

Komolafe who was represented by  the State coordinator NUPRC, Mr Williams Etukudo, added, “I want you to be rest assured that the commission will continue to do her best within the ambit of the provisions of the PIA 2021 and the NUPRC 2022, to ensure smooth and speedy implementation and operationalization of the HCDT while ensuring that all stakeholders are adequately carried along.

“It is in this respect that the commission entered into Service Level Agreement (SLA) with HOSTCOM project management & Advisory Konsult Limited to create awareness on the provisions of the PIA 2021 and efforts of the Commission while seeking feedback from communities and Oil stakeholders”

In his goodwill message, Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources Akwa Ibom State, Chief Etim Uno said there was need to quickly resolve all disputes hampering the PIA implementation in some Oil and gas producing communities in the state.

Uno who was represented by the Head Petroleum Resources in the Ministry, Engr. Anietie Emah, however appealed, “The leadership of the Trusts, and especially the Board of Trustees (BoT) please let the people you are representing understand what is happening. Interface with them regularly. Understand that your were chosen to serve the”.