NASS C’ttee to Propose, Commence Quick Amendment of Sections of PIA


The House of Representatives’ Committee on Host Communities has assured the people of Niger Delta that it would quickly propose and commence the repelling of some defective sections of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, to meet the needs of the people of the area.

This is as the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, said that it has successfully set up an Alternatives Dispute Resolution, ADR, to handle issues that may arise from the implementation of the 3% oil revenue to communities in the Host Communities Development Trust.

The NASS committee saddled with the duty to handle the concerns of oil producing communities in the Niger Delta said the need for the move is to protect the interest of all communities and stakeholders by engaging the oil and gas industry regulators by providing a good guiding law. Chairman, of the House of Reps Committee on Host Communities, Hon. Dumnamene Dekor, said this in Port Harcourt, during a two-day Technical Session on the Implementation of Host Community Development Trusts, HCDT, organised for critical stakeholders by Spaces for Change, S4C, with support from Ford Foundation and the National Assembly. Dekor said the amendment would position the settlors and the host communities for a smooth implementation of the PIA to increase Nigeria’s oil output and boost the nation’s revenue, adding that the Committee would look at section 257(2) of the PIA, which leaves the responsibility of securing oil and gas installations in the hands of unarmed host communities.

He said: “One of the major aims of this meeting is to look at the grey areas in the PIA, you will agree with me that there are shortcomings in virtually all laws and there is room to tinker with the laws from time to time; and when we find these gaps, we have to look for legislative intervention to handle them. It is our duty as House Committee on Host Community to handle the cries of the oil and gas host communities in the Niger Delta, so we must ensure those areas of the law are amended and also work with the regulatory agencies to provide regulations. I assure you that some parts of that law that have been identified as not going to serve the purpose, we will propose amendment to them. We will go back and do this amendment to reflect more roles for the settlor, the regulators and the host communities. We’ll go deeply into how the 3 percent OPEX is determined; we’ll engage NUPRC on that. The host communities also have a huge role to play, we will engage all the HCDTs. We will urge the regulators, the operators and the communities to cooperate with us in ensuring that we have a law that will be seamless in terms of delivery.”

Meanwhile, the Director, Health Safety, Environment and Community, NUPRC, Mrs. Ejiro Ufondu, disclosed in her presentation that the commission has set up ADR, noting that move was to ensure that disputes arising from the implementation of the PIA are quickly resolved. Ufondu, who represented the Commission Chief Executive Officer of NUPRC, Engr. (Dr) Gbenga Komolafe, hinted that at the moment the court is domiciled in Bayelsa State and would handle issues between the settlor and the communities in the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA. He said that it was the duty of the commission to set up mechanisms on revolving any issues that may affect smooth implementation of the process. According to him “the Commission or Authority, as the case may be, shall make regulations on the administration, guide and safeguard the utilisation of the trust fund and have the oversight responsibility for ensuring that the projects proposed by the Board of Trustees are implemented. It will also set-up a grievance resolution mechanism between settlors and host communities.” He said among its achievements as: “Successful gazette of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities’ Development Regulation, 2022 and Establishment of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) office in the Niger Delta (Bayelsa State).

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