Oil host communities kick against NUPRC’s involvement in trust fund management

Oil communities in Bayelsa State have kicked against attempts by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, to get involved in the day-to-day management of the Host Communities Development Trust Fund. The Fund which was created by the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, is meant to be administered by the oil and gas companies in collaboration with the host communities. The Commission had last brought out regulations to guide the implementation of the host communities trust fund, the communities in Bayelsa have alleged that NUPRC was attempting to change part of the regulation to make it part of the day-to-day management of the fund. Communities in a statement at the weekend in Abuja jointly signed by a youth leader, Mr Christopher Tuduo, His Royal Highness Theophilus Moses, the Chairman Dodo River Rural Development Authority, Francis Amamogiran, Hon. Target Segibo of Oporoma Rural Development Authority and former Chairman of Koluama Clan Oil and Gas Committee, Engr Ebimielayefa Dick- Ogbeyan warned that oil production across the state may be halted if the Commission fails to refrain from actions that could potentially reduce or create bottlenecks for the three per cent host community fund.

They criticized NUPRC’s intention, outlined in a letter dated 9th October 2023, and signed by Capt. John R. Tonlagha for the Commission Chief Executive, which proposed participation in various activities related to the host community fund, such as BOT nominations, selection and inauguration, Management Committee Advisory Committee nomination and selection, and facilitation of NEED assessment. They argued that this would be too much for the three per cent to fund. “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 from the HCDT trust”, they stated. The communities asked NUPRC to recognize the urgency of the matter and take immediate, substantive steps to resolve the concerns at hand. They warned that improper handling of host community issues could have negative repercussions on Nigeria’s oil production and economy. The communities stated that the NUPRC must reverse any action and regulations adversely affecting the host community to avoid a severe backlash.

Source: (vanguardngr.com)