PIA: Oriental Energy Sets Up HCDT Fund For Host Communities In Akwa Ibom

An indigenous crude oil production company, Oriental Energy Resources Limited (OERL), has commenced the creation of Host Community Development Trust fund (HCDT) in Mbo and Effiat communities of Akwa Ibom State.

The chapter three of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, 2021 has mandated oil company seeking to operate in any community to establish the HCDT fund requiring settlers or licensees to make a mandatory contribution of three percent (3%) of the annual operating expenditure into the Fund.

The Managing Director, Oriental Energy Mustafa Indimi who announced this during community relations session in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital noted that the creation of HCDT was in compliance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 for the
best interest of the host communities.

He also disclosed decision not to consider spouses, siblings for appointment into the Trust fund for same tenure even as he said no person would be disqualified based on gender or physical disability.

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Represented by the Head of Community Relations, Dr Uwem Ite, the MD noted that
the company has commenced engagement with its host Communities, Akwa Ibom State government (AKSG), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on the creation of the HCDT.

The MD said the host communities deserve priority status in deriving direct social and economic benefits from the operations of the petroleum industry.

The statement in parts, “among other criteria, persons with conflict of interest would not be appointed or contracted. Candidates must demonstrate impartiality and objectivity, spouses or siblings should not be appointed in the same tenure, and no person should be disqualified for appointment merely by reason of gender especially women, disability or age.”

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Meanwhile copies of the documents were received by Effiat and Mbo Community Representative Committees (CRCs), NUPRC, NCDMB, State Ministry of Power and Petroleum Development (MPPD), and AKSG.

Speaking earlier, William Etukudo, Head of NUPRC Eket, assured the communities of the Commission’s support in monitoring, enforcing compliance, and proper implementation of assessed needs.

He said, “The Commission will give zero tolerance to corruption and the books will be properly audited in line with the Act. This will promote peaceful co-existence of both operators and host communities for the overriding interest of Nigeria.”

In a goodwill message, Commissioner for Petroleum, John James Etim appreciated Oriental Energy for complementing efforts of the government through liaison with critical stakeholders and implementing the HCDT as guided by the PIA.

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He, therefore, urged the Oil company to show due diligence in appointment of members into arms of the Trust Fund stressing that People with integrity, intelligence, capacity, from the host communities or Akwa Ibom must be considered.