The Chief executive officer of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission Engineer Gbenga Komolafe has indicated that the development of the Host communities producing Oil and gas(HOSCM) can go a long way to eradicating vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta.
The passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) with the 3% equity share holding for the Host Communities had given them a sense of fufillment and contentment making them to see oil exploration activities as their own as they now guard the pipelines against vandals.
Hence Komolafe described the PIA as 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 recently at the official commissioning of the HOSTCOM Liaison office /end of year Community sensitization on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in Abuja.
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.
He said 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 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.
Approval of over fifty (50) HCDTs for incorporation, with minimal challenges from Host Communities.
He expressed the optimism that all the efforts put out so far will lead to drastic reduction in the challenges faced in the oil and gas industry and usher in a new era of shared responsibility, shared value creation, complete revamp of the country’s economy and shared prosperity for our country and our people.
“We at NUPRC are determined to play our role; it is a responsibility we are wholly committed to.”
He applauded the efforts of the Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSTCOM) in its drive towards ensuring the host communities are fully involved in the actualization of the gains of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 economic benefits from petroleum operations to host communities while enhancing peaceful and harmonious coexistence between operators and their hosts.
“Pursuant to the provisions of the PIA 2021, and in our avowed commitment to executing the prescriptions of the law, we in the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) have been working diligently in developing necessary Regulations aimed at giving meaning to the intent and letters of the Act.
“We have continued to prioritize those aspects regarding the integration and well-being of host communities in our operational considerations to ensure fairness, justice. I can assure you all, of our continued commitment to drive the process to a logical conclusion.
“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.
According to him, no gain saying that past efforts made by government and executed through its agencies; and the private sector through industry operators, to address challenges with host communities only achieved very minimal successes.
“It is for this reason that I was particularly excited at the passage of the PIA 2021,
He expressed delight to be part of the commissioning of the Oil and Gas Host Communities National Liaison Office which is another testimony to their avowed commitment to the implementation of the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, as it pertains to oil-bearing communities in the country