Host communities threaten to disrupt oil production over 3% PIA funds

Host communities in Bayelsa State have threatened to disrupt oil production across the state if the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) fails to refrain from actions that could potentially reduce or create bottlenecks for the three per cent host community fund under the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). This was convened in a statement jointly signed by the youth leader, Mr Christopher Tuduo, His Royal Highness, Theophilus Moses, Chairman of the Dodo River Rural Development Authority, Francis Amamogiran, Target Segibo of the Oporoma Rural Development Authority, and former Chairman of the Koluama Clan Oil and Gas Committee, Engr. Ebimielayefa Dick-Ogbeyan.

The communities, in the statement, expressed readiness to take decisive action and escalate their efforts to address the concerns of the oil and gas communities if the NUPRC fails to urgently address the issue. Emphasising their proactive engagement in pacifying the youths across various communities since the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), they stated that the stability of oil operations could be compromised if NUPRC allows the situation to deteriorate further.

They warned that improper handling of host community issues could have negative repercussions on Nigeria’s oil production and economy. According to them, host communities are often excluded from the decision-making process,” which results in the use of public resources to defend decisions in newspapers.”

They further maintained that while NUPRC’s oversight function is essential, over-involvement in the activities of the HCDTs is counterproductive and financially burdensome. “They are getting into the operations arena, and this will not augur well for the industry because each participation by the NUPRC will be funded by the HCDT trust.”