How host communities can benefit from PIA – NUPRC

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The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has advised host communities of oil and gas infrastructure in the country on how to maximally benefit from the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

The Commission Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, noted that to benefit from the PIA, the host communities must take ownership of the facilities located in their domain.

This, he said, would enable the host communities to obtain the maximum benefit of the provision of the Petroleum Industry Act.

Komolafe gave the advice on Thursday while speaking at National Extractive Dialogue 2023 organised by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative in conjunction with a non-profit policy advocacy and research group, the Spaces for Change, in Owerri, Imo State.

“As we are all aware, the petroleum industry contributes significantly to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product and plays a vital role in the growth and development of our country.

“It is obviously right to note that the communities upon whose lands the Oil and Gas infrastructure are established, receive the highest level of support from both the government and the operating companies as stipulated in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021,” Komolafe who was represented by the NUPRC Regional Coordinator, Owerri, A. M. Uviovo, said.

He added, “May I at this juncture remind the communities that at the end of every financial year, the company is to release three per cent of the operating Expenditure (OPEX) to the Trust’s Board of Trustees and the account will be maintained by members of the host community in conjunction with the settlor.

“The choice of projects to embark on will be determined by the community and this means the company will have unlimited access to the facilities.

“That also means that any expenditure made by the company due to any denial of access, disruption of activities, vandalisation and sabotage will be deducted from the three per cent Trust fund of that financial year.

“The communities are therefore advised to take ownership of the facilities located in your domain to enable you to obtain the maximum benefit of the provision of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

“As we deliberate on the provisions of the Host Community Development Trust as provided in Chapter 3 of the PIA, 2021, it is hoped that all relevant stakeholders will depart with useful information with regard to the Host Community, Host Community Development Trust and Host Community Development Trust Fund and other relevant provisions of the Act.

“I urge you to diligently work together to ensure that our communities continue to thrive positively to enable our country to progress and develop economically.”

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