Group tasks oil producing communities on Petroleum Industry Act
The Accountability in Extractive Sector (AES) Cluster, an NGO has tasked oil producing communities to work toward effective takeoff of host community development trust fund as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Mr Auwal Musa, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) said this at a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the review and progress of implementing PIA on Tuesday in Asaba.
Musa said that dialogue was within the framework of Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project implemented by Palladium Group Holdings with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
He said that the aim was to engage host communities that can drive the implementation process for the establishment of host community development trust fund.
Musa said that the dialogue was to inform and review the progress in the implementation of the PIA.
He said it was also to harvest agenda to advance engagements with Settlors (Oil companies) and relevant state actors towards expediting the establishment of their respective Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) Funds to the benefit of their communities
He said the community engagement was aimed at stepping down knowledge with guidance from relevant state actors on the issue of regulations, template and procedural guidelines for the communities.
The CISLAC boss said that the dialogue was equally to identify opportunities to facilitate the establishment of community platforms for timely reviews of relevant frameworks and processes.
Speaking, Munachi Ugochukwu, Programme Officer, CISLAC’s Tax Justice, Environment and Conservation of Nature, said the programme was being implemented in oil producing states of Delta, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Imo, Rivers and Abuja.
“The programme is being delivered through an anchor cluster model with about 10 organisations from the participating states and Abuja.
“It is about driving transparency and accountability in the extractive sector to ensure that the sector resources trickled down both to the oil host communities and Nigerians.
”The aim is to engage host communities that can drive the implementation process for the establishment of host community development trust fund.
”About five host communities and three representatives each were invited.
A traditional ruler, a woman, and a youth leader are part of the persons drawn for the engagement process,” he said.
Ugochukwu listed the communities in Delta as, Owa Aladima Ndokwa nation, Ekakpamre and Orogun.
He said the objective was to step down the content regulation, for the host communities to be familiar with it as well as the procedural and template guidelines for the establishment of the host communities’ trust fund.
In his remarks, the Delta Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Chris Anyabuine, expressed the readiness of the agency to sustain the awareness creation on the PIA and host community regulations across the state.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Corporate Affairs Commission, Delta Ministry of Environment, traditional councils, leaders of oil-host communities, and the media.