May 23, 2024

Over 100 HCDTs not registered after PIA enactment

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Over 100 HCDTs not registered after PIA enactment

Ini Billie, Uyo

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has said over 100 Host Community Development Trusts (HCDT) are yet to be registered by oil communities two years after the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Executive Director of CISLAC, Mr Auwal Musa stated that only 76 HCDTs have been registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), 45 accounts created and 38 accounts funded.

Speaking on Thursday in Uyo during a one-day engagement on strengthening civic awareness and capacity for local engagement on oil host community development, Musa lamented that two years after the enactment of the PIA, oil communities were still largely under-informed about the processes for establishing their Host Community Development Trust (HCDT).

Musa, represented by the Focal Person of CISLAC, Mr Chinedu Bassey blamed the inability of oil communities to advance sustainable prosperity despite their oil wealth on their ignorance about the contents of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

He explained that without adequate information, the communities would not derive the envisaged benefits of the PIA, adding that ignorance would consequently stall development in the communities.

“Oil host communities remain largely under-informed about the provisions of the PIA, its regulations, and the processes for establishing their Trust.

“Without which, they cannot take ownership towards advancing sustainable prosperity within their communities and derive direct social and economic benefits from petroleum operations.

“According to the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil & Gas operations (HostCom), for over two years of the enactment of 2021 PIA, only 76 Development Trusts have been registered, only 45 accounts have been created and only 38 accounts have been funded with more than 100 Development Trust yet not Registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC),” he stated.

The ED called on Civil Society Organisations, media, and other critical stakeholders to harmonise efforts in ramping up awareness for communities towards improving the quality of outcomes of the PIA.

While delivering her paper, Director of Host Communities of Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr E Ufondu noted that the commission has not relented on engaging the host communities to enable them to register their trust.

Speaking on “Overview of the progress towards the effective implementation of Host Community development provisions of the PIA”, Ufondu said 56 out of 43 trusts have already been funded, while 107 were outstanding.

While sharing his experiences, Mr Emem Edoho, an indigene of Esit Eket Local Government Area, decried the high level of nepotism in setting up the Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) for the three per cent derivation powered by the Petroleum Industrial Act (PIA).

Edoho alleged that some political actors have filtered into the Trust with the idea of hijacking it for their gains instead of the development of the community.

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