*** PIA is a lifetime strategy that promises to bring renewed hope, says Komolafe
The Federal Government through the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Health, Safety, Environment and Community of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has expressed determination to finally put an to gas flaring practices.
This it said will for the last time guarantee environmental sanity in the oil and gas value chain in the Country.
Executive Director, Health, Safety, Environment and Community of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority NMDPRA, Capt. John Tonlagha said ‘Regulations and Guidelines’ have been developed in accordance with the PIA which are in the final stages of of approvals.
He spoke at the official commissioning of HOSTCOM’s Abuja Liaison Office and end of year community sensitization on the PIA
Speaking to the topic; the Role of NMDPRA on Zero Gas Flare and the Utilization of Environmental Remediation Fund as Contained in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA)’
He said the objective of the Gas Revolution which underpins the 7 Big Win is intended to transform Nigeria into an industrialized nation with gas playing a major role by spurring particular enabling policies to launch the gas industry.
“The Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMP) is the blueprint designed to address growth in the domestic gas market as well as supply chains to ensure availability and affordability for users, infrastructure development, long-term supply security, as well as robust legal, regulatory, and fiscal policies.
“Its actualization is expected to stimulate economic growth, further improve Nigeria’s energy mix. drive investments, and provide the much-needed jobs for our citizens in the country.
“Thus, the development of gas infrastructure like the construction of the 61 4km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline, as well as increasing domestic utilization of LPG and CNG, commercializing gas flares under the National Gas Flare Commercialization Program (NGFCP), developing industrial gas markets, increasing Gas to Power, the National Domestic Gas Supply and Pricing Policy, the Nigerian National Gas Policy, the Nationg| Gas Expansion Programme and the Auto-gas policy.
“The effort towards establishing Train 7 by the Nigerian Liquefied in the reduction of gas flaring in Nigeria is also a laudable achievement.
“These are all ways the FGN has sought or attempted ta articulate its desired flare down policy as well as its keenness in strengthening the gas-to-power nexus in the country under the Gas Revolution.”
NUPRC chief executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, commended HOSTCOM’s drive towards ensuring that host communities are fully involved in the actualization of the gains of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 while enhancing peaceful and harmonious coexistence between operators and their hosts.
Speaking to the topic; ‘Host Community Development Trust Milestones Implementation Achievments: A tool for possible eradication of vandalism and Crude oil theft at the official commissioning of the HOSTCOM Liaison office/end of year Community sensitization on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) he said the commission has continued to prioritize those aspects regarding the integration and well-being of host communities in its operational considerations to ensure fairness and justice.
“Evidence of our commitment to this objective can be seen in the tremendous efforts made by the Commission within the first six months of its inception in generating ideas, formulating proposals, and engaging stakeholders towards formulating a navigational aid for the implementation of the Host Community Development Trust Fund (HCDT), in line with the provisions of section 235 of the PIA, 2021.
“You will recall that in the seventh month of our stewardship, (June 28, 2022 precisely) the Commission unveiled the Nigeria Upstream Host Communities Development Regulation and Procedure Guide”
He indicated that the PIA is a lifetime strategy that promises to bring renewed hope by ushering in far-reaching reforms backed by proper implementation strategies,
He spoke on the topic, Host Community Development Trust Milestones Implementation Achievments: A tool for possible eradication of Vandalism and Crude oil theft at the official commissioning of the HOSTCOM Liaison office /end of year Community sensitization on on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in Abuja at the weekend
He said at the Commission they were passionate about successfully driving the implementation process.
‘Armed with the provisions of the PIA-HCDT framework, the Commission has indeed moved ahead with the implementation of the requirements of the relevant provisions to deliver on its mandate, as seen by major and critical milestones achieved within a short timeframe.
“The effect of these strategies, which are aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the provisions, would become obvious in the coming months.” He listed Some of the Commission’s activities to include
Gazetting, and publication of the Nigeria Upstream Host Communities Development Regulation (NUHCDR, 2022), in July, 2022 after series of engagements with industry stakeholders, engaging and collaborating with relevant agencies, such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), to facilitate the incorporation of the Trusts; for example, the Department of State Security (DSS), to facilitate the verification of the character and integrity of BolT members; the National Boundary Commission (NBC), to ensure the inclusion of littoral communities to a Settlor’s area of operations based on sound science, to mention just a few.
According to him, they have been able to set up the Implementation team currently driving the digitization of the application process; the Host Community Development Team to handle the process of implementation and attendant fallouts; and the Compliance and Enforcement Team for HCD Implementation, to ensure strict compliance by all
stakeholders including Settlors, and Host Communities, among others.
He said they have also carried out
Nigerian Upstream Host Communities Development Guidelines (draft stage), application for incorporation approval templates, and the recent move from digitization to automation of the HCD implementation process
PIA: NUPRC threatens to revoke operating licenses of defaulting OICs
***Issues ultimatum on 3% remittance to oil communities
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has issued an ultimatum to settlors who have defaulted in remitting the 3% operating cost to oil bearing communities as stipulated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA)
Section 257 ( 2) of the Petroleum Industry Act, which came into effect in August 2021, stipulates that Oil and Gas Companies should remit 3% of their annual operational expenditure to affected host communities.
The commission was reacting to the recent agitation by host communities in the oil and gas producing areas of the Niger Delta region over the delay by industry settlors/operators in remitting the statutory fees governed by Section 235 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.
The leadership of the host communities producing oil and gas had moved against the deliberate violation of the Act by oil companies operating in their area who have refused to remmit the 3% operating cost as stipulated by the act.
They said two years after the provision of the law, none of the Oil Producing Companies had complied with it , prompting stakeholders from the affected host communities to cry out in Abuja on Wednesday.
National President of HOSTCOM, Dr. Benjamin Tamaranebi, at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, had expressed dismay that the oil companies have refused to remit the 3% to HOSTCOM two years after the passage of the PIA.
The commission in a swift reaction through a statement issued on Friday, threatened to revoke the licenses of oil operators or settlors who failed to remit the three 3% statutory fees to oil communities before September ending.
It called on the operators to fulfill their obligations of the 3% remittance to the oil bearing communities without further delay
“Clearly, the Commission understands and shares in the sentiments and particularly the patience of the host communities on this issue, especially as the PIA had suspended the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), replacing both provisions with a new Host Community Development Trust Fund.
“The Commission is fully aware of the implications of this development if allowed to fester. The agitation might frustrate the Commission’s efforts at up-scaling the drive for higher foreign exchange and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country. “Incidentally and quite unfortunately, it is also capable of truncating efforts at stabilizing the value of the Naira, attaining the much-desired rebound in our national economy and improving our macro-economic status.
“The statutory provision of the PIA regarding the annual contribution of operators in the industry, under Section 240 (2) of the PIA, 2021, is very clear, and it states:
“Each settlor, where applicable through the operator, shall make an annual contribution to the applicable host communities development trust fund of an amount equal to 3% of its actual annual operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream petroleum operations affecting the host communities for which the applicable host communities development trust fund was established”.
“It must be stated that given the implications of allowing continued default on sustained peaceful operations and the eventual effect on national oil and gas output, the Commission will be minded to activate its regulatory powers in line with the provisions of the Act as stated above, to bring defaulting and recalcitrant settlors into compliance.
“Recently, the Commission passed the Host Community Regulation and organized a mass sensitization program, emphasizing the responsibility of settlors in host communities under the PIA, 2021.
“Unfortunately, those concerned have neglected this, thereby stoking avoidable agitations. The settlors are, therefore, required to perform their obligation to commence remittance of the statutory 3% contribution.
“The Commission notes that remittance of the statutory contribution, which should have served as succor to the host communities, has sadly become a source of pain to the lawful beneficiaries.
“This has now given impetus to actions that might affect smooth upstream operations within affected host communities, a situation that could have been addressed through routine social inclusion.
“Although the ultimate regulatory sanction, as enshrined in Section 238 of the PIA, is the revocation of assets, the Commission has been careful not to compound the already low level of investment and divestment rate and further impact negatively on production levels and the Federation revenue. Rather, it chose to draw a balance and be strategic in implementing the provisions of the law.
“The relevant section states that “Unless as otherwise provided for in this Act, failure by any holder of a licence or lease governed by this Act to comply with its obligations under this Chapter, after having been informed of such failure in writing by the Commission or Authority as the case may be, may be grounds for revocation of the applicable licence.”
“Therefore, defaulting operators (settlors) under PIA 2021 (section 235) are advised to do the needful by fulfilling their obligations and remitting the outstanding arrears without further delay, as the Commission might be compelled by emerging circumstances to fully apply the law under section 235 of PIA 2021, which states as follows: Failure to incorporate host communities’ development trust:
“unless as otherwise provided for in this Act, failure by any holder of a licence or lease governed by this Act, failure by any holder of a licence or lease governed by this Act to comply with its obligations under this chapter, after having been informed of such failure in writing by the Commission or Authority as the case may be, may be grounds for revocation of the applicable licence or lease.
“Notice is hereby served that in a situation where defaults are not remedied by the end of September 2023, the Commission would have no option but to revoke the license of the defaulting settlor/operator.”
13% Oil Funds: Delta Communities besiege EFCC Office, want Okowa probed over Alleged N1.07trn Diversion
The association of oil and gas communities in Delta State on Thursday urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abuja, to probe former Delta Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, over alleged diversion of N1.07 trillion from the 13 percent oil derivation fund.
The request came after they stormed the headquarters of the EFCC Abuja,
The association which is made up of representatives of Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Isoko and Ndokwa ethnic groups, frowned at the non-full remittance of 50 percent legally prescribed allocation to Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) during Okowa’s administration (2015 to 2023).
Addressing newsmen after submitting the association’s petition to EFCC, representative of the Ijaw ethnic nationality, Chief (Comrade) Mulade Sheriff, asked the anti-graft agency not to leave any stone unturned in ensuring the alleged diverted money is fully recovered.
The petition reads in part: “We are leaders and representatives of oil and gas producing Communities of Delta State. We wish to draw the attention of the general public, particularly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to the illegal diversion of our entitlement from the 13% derivation funds.
“We are indigenes and members of the Oil and Gas Producing Communities in Delta State and it’s on this strength we are drawing the attention of your office to the flagrant and deliberate abuse of Section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and section 13 (1) of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) Law of 2006 (as amended), 2007, 2015 and 2018 established to cater for the wellbeing of the Oil and Gas Producing Communities in Delta State,
“It is imperative to state that the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) Law 2006 (as amended), 2007, 2015 and 2018 respectively was established to expressly execute a clear mandate as stated in Section 13(1) of the DESOPADEC Law which provides thus:
“‘The commission shall receive and administer exclusively 50% of the Oil Derivation fund accruing to the Delta State Government for; a) The rehabilitation of the oil producing communities/areas of the state.’
”Other development projects as may be determined from time to time. We have observed curiously in 2022/2023 that the DESOPADEC has become moribund, and the Oil Producing Areas/Communities are nose-diving into abject poverty, which is inciting and causing youths restiveness and agitation in their various communities.
“From the records available to us upon an application to the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation for a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the 13% oil derivation fund from the Federation Account to the Delta State Government between 2015-2022, the sum of N1,077,450,285,552.17 has been disbursed to the Delta State Government from July 2015 to December 2022, for the Rehabilitation and Development of the oil Producing Communities/Areas in Delta State.
“In fact what Okowa received is far more than N1,077,450,285,552.17 if the 13% monthly allocations of January 2023 to May 2023 are added. See attached CTC.”
The association also expressed serious concern over the alleged brazen manner funds meant for oil and gas producing communities were channelled to other purposes in violation of DESOPADEC law.
”By section 13(1) of the DESOPADEC Law 2006 (as amended) 2007, 2015 and 2018, the commission is legally and lawfully entitled to 50% from the 13% oil derivation fund from the Federation Account which is calculated at N538,725,142,776.85 (Five Hundred and Thirty-Eight Billion, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Five Million, One Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Six Naira, Eighty-five Kobo) from the Delta State Government.
“That from the information obtained, it is obvious that the Delta Government grossly underfunded the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission as it was in the habit of consistently and deliberately disbursing less than the sum of N20,000,000,000 (Twenty Billion Naira) only annually for the past Eight Years….
“Sir, unfortunately all efforts by our communities’ leaders and other well-meaning personalities in Delta State to have the Delta State Government to obey, observe and comply with the DESOPADEC law and render account for the said misappropriated fund have proved abortive hence this petition.
“It is very nauseating that despite the stupendous Billions of Naira being paid to the Delta State Government from the 13% oil derivation fund from the Federation Account, The Oil Producing Areas/Communities continue to wallow in abject poverty with no commensurate social amenities and infrastructures in place.
“This gross and reckless misappropriation of the 13% oil derivation fund meant for the Oil Producing Communities largely account for the incessant restiveness and agitations in the Niger Delta Region.
“We are strongly appealing to the Commission saddled with the responsibility to probe and Investigate the immediate-past Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, to recover and return our money of the 50% of the 13% Oil derivation fund from the Federation Account to the State Government and render necessary Account for the said illegally and unlawfully misappropriated balance to DESOPADEC coffers, to enable them develop our communities, ” the petition read.
Recall that the petition which was received by EFCC was signed by Mulade Sheriff (Ijaw Ethnic Nationality), Sir Mathew Itsekure (Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality), Mrs Patience Ego Afujue (Ndokwa Ethnic Nationality), Hon Mark Ikpuri, (Urhobo Ethnic Nationality) and Chief John Etenero (Isoko Ethnic Nationality).
Amb. Igali tasks FG on exploration of gas reserve for Electricity Power generation
***Eulogises Engr Joseph Makoju
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
Pro-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure Amb. (Dr) Godknows Boladei Igali, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to critically look into developing the nation’s gas sector to generate and export electricity.
Igali made the call while delivering a Lecture titled: “The Apogee Of National Service And Vision For The Nigerian Power Sector: Reflections On The Life And Times Of Engr. (Dr.) Joseph Oyeyani Makoju” at the Federal University, Lokoja.
The first Lecture in memory of Engr Joseph Makoju was organised by FUL in partnership with the Joseph Makoju Foundation for Development, Leadership and Technology as part of efforts to contribute to solving leadership development and power problem in Nigeria.
Igali said that gas as at today, remained the most cost-effective fuel for electricity power generation “We can harness our gas properly and build turbines and allow proper electricity transmission network.
“The expectation of Makoju was that on medium-term basis Nigeria could become the net exporter of electricity with improvement made on developing its gas to power assets.
“At present Nigeria has over 600 trillion standard cubic feet of gas and therefore could flood the entire sub-region and the whole of Africa with electric power if there is consistent development.
He said that the late Makoju as a visionary saw into the future and he set to develop the sector saying, “We have to wake up from our slumber and begin to develop our gas to power assets.”
The Ambassador held that with proper utilisation of the nation’s gas reserve, Nigeria would be able to build infrastructures all over Africa and begin to export power to other African nations like Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Central African Republic among others.
Igali said that developing the Power Sector was critical to economic development of Nigeria and urged the Federal Government to provide a robust policy guidance and supervision in the sector without interference in its day-to-day running.
He said insufficient power was causing a gross economic loss of about $26 billion (over N10 trillion) every year in Nigeria.
“Not only that, Government must revive the Presidential Action Committee on Power (PACP) as problem-solving and decision-making platform for the sector”, he said.
The Guest Lecturer held that former President Olusegun Obasanjo against this backdrop, pursued power generation and played supervisory role over private sector dynamism and raising power generation from 1.5 megawatts to 4.8 megawatts.
Eulogizing late Engr (Dr) Joseph Oyeyani Makoju, Igali described late Super Executive of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) as a citizen who was prepared for service to the nation.
He said that Makoju had the foundation of humanity ingrained in him adding that he saw humanity beyond religion and faith and that disposition formed the basis of his virtues.
He said that Makoju persevered and endured, powered by tenacity arising from his cultural and philosophical environment and scholarship to become a task driver who prepared the power sector for privatization with unbundling of the sector. (Ends)
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