PIA implementation: HOSTCOM decries blackmail against NUPRC 

 

Leaders from the Oil and Gas Host Communities (HOSTCOM), Tuesday in Abuja, slammed alleged blackmailers of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) on the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The leaders in a strongly worded statement signed by HOSTCOM National President, Dr Benjamin Style Tamaranebi, specifically lampooned those accusing NUPRC of meddling in the 3% OPEX due to host communities and management of Development Trust Fund therefrom, by respective communities.

Tamaranebi in the statement categorically stated that NUPRC has to large extent served as catalyst for delivery of entitlements to oil and gas producing communities from oil companies as empowered by relevant provisions of PIA and not in any way denying them of their entitlements or short changing them.

He stated that attack on NUPRC by some members from oil producing communities’ digital platforms introduced by the commission was unjustifiable and corruption induced.

The statement reads in part: “It is necessary to state for the umpteenth time that the NUPRC is only involved in the execution of the HCDTs to the extant prescribed in the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 and the Regulations governing the implementation of the Trust which was approved by stakeholders and gazetted by the government. 

“Its involvement is purely regulatory to ensure proper implementation to the benefit of all stakeholders and nothing more.

“The Commission is not unaware of the antics of those who are not comfortable with the new regulations but would prefer the status quo in which our host communities were short-changed.

“It is in light of this that we are stating categorically that part of the functions of the NUPRC is to superintend and monitor the implementation of the Host Communities Development Trust as stipulated in Chapter 3 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021 and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Regulation (NUPHCR), 2022.  

“It is imperative to inform the public of the responsibilities of the respective incorporated trust which, amongst others, include the general management of the host community’s development trusts, disbursement of the capital fund (75% of the 3% annual OPEX) for the execution of host communities project and the appointment of fund managers to manage the reserve fund (20% of the 3% OPEX) as business venture (while 5% of the 3% OPEX is for administrative cost).

“The point must be made clear that the NUPRC is not a signatory to any of the HCDT accounts; rather only the settlors and the BOTs of the host communities are signatories to the trust accounts as provided in Regulation 23 (5d) of the NUPHCR of the Commission, which is to ensure effective monitoring of the implementation and operationalisation of the HCDT process.”