Gas Flaring Funds Should Come To Niger Delta Alone: HOSTCOM - Crystalnewsonline


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Friday, November 17, 2023

Gas Flaring Funds Should Come To Niger Delta Alone: HOSTCOM


The Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas ( HOSTCOM)has called on Federal Government not to decentralize the Gas flaring penalty funds advising that it should come to the Niger Delta Region the sufferers  of the Gas flaring.

This was they called on the Oil Companies operating in  the Niger  Delta region to   pay their 3% equity trust fund which it said has climbed up to 1 billion us dollars.

The national president of Host Communites of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), Chief Benjamin Style who spoke on behalf of the host communities also  called on the multi nationals operating in the Niger Delta Region  to pay the  3% host communities   development trust fund.

The national president said that the reason why  HOSTCOM  fought hard to get the 3% was for communities to have that sustainability of development adding that with the PIA  in hand "we felt that the 3%  will do more for  oil communities so that the Oil companies  will have a seamless operation.

 He regretted that after two years of the enactment of PAI into law, the operating companies had  failed to provide the meager some of 3% annual production cost to those communities adding that "From 2021 to today,   over 1thrillionnaira which is 500 million dollars per annum  has not been paid which is  about 1 Billion dollars.

He also called on federal government to channel the gas flaring penalty funds to the Niger Delta Region adding that the money should go to  any other part of the country.

Knocking the setlors for delaying in setting up the boards, the national president said that  it took them more than two years to form  stating  that "as I'm talking to you, more than 100  HCDT have not yet been formed.

"They have just captures only 82  and out of the  82,  only 45 has been funded. The operators should come out and form those trusts and release  money for them so that by the time these communities see these monies, they will now forget about these Kpo fire  and think of doing projects.

"The PIA expressly situated  administrative fee in the 5 percent of the 3 percent to situated with the settlor. What the commission did was digitizing end to end administration of the HOSTCOM provision through HOSTCOMPLY and directing operators and stakeholders to subscribe to usage for transparency and avoid human interference.

"But based on the fact that, the companies know what the are doing, they make money out of Kpo  fire it. They are the people even sponsoring it.They fail to create these HCDT and they failed to fund them.

" Even money that was paid for gas flaring,  people from out side the affected area want to have a share of the money. And we cannot stay and allow that to happen. Government should look into it.

 "It is not too good that the money should be collected from Niger Delta and go and be given to people in the North or give people in the West. We will do everything humanly possible to stop it. We will storm the national assembly  and all the authority in Abuja. Taking away the penalty that is paid to our people because of gas flaring and go and give to another people  is an aberration and that must be stopped.

Commending NURC he said that the body will continue  to work with  the body  to ensure that there should be better accountability in this 3% equity distribution.

It is important, first and foremost to reiterate that the NUPRC is a regulatory body established by law to oversee the upstream petroleum sector, thus its primary objective is ensuring efficient and sustainable petroleum resource exploration and production in Nigeria. 

"This includes safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders, including our oil and gas host communities.

Part of the functions of the NUPRC is to superintend and monitor the implementation of the Host Communities Development Trust as stipulated in Chapter 3 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021 and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Regulation (NUPHCR), 2022.  

"The reason for the attacks on the Commission is the introduction of the  digital platform and implementation by OEM hostcomply , which has heated the  operators and to end the sharp practices of the oil multinationals and there cohort. With this HOSTCOMPLY host communities can go and sleep with there two eyes closed. 

"The point must be made clear that the NUPRC is not a signatory to any of the HCDT accounts as the settlors and the BOTs of the Host communities are signatories to the trust accounts as provided in Regulation 23 (5d) of the NUPHCR, 2022. Consequently, the Commission does not have access to the HCDT funds which can be verify from our various communities if we are truly from one.

Also speaking,  Safar  Praise Perekeme from Kabiama Community in Sagbama said  that  it  is only few communities that were captured in sagbama -Ekeremor HCDT adding that the few Communities that it was only  five communities that are captured.

He said "I want the media to tell them that there is going to be more trouble for setlors because you don't expect  a community like mine that  is housing a facility  about 31 oil blocks not to be captured. To my surprise all these communities  that house all these oil blocks are not captured in the HCDT.

"Of these  communities are incorporated in into these HCDT, everything   will be going serially  but they have decided on their craftiness to cut out some communities that are having pipelines running thoroughly in  their communities.Tell the setlors we will have heavy troubles with them. He said 

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