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PIA: Oil Companies Owe Host Communities N800bn- HOSCON

He argued against the current practice of channeling the 13 percent derivation funds to state governors and advocated for direct payment to the oil host communities.

By Johnson Atoukudu:

According to the Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON), oil companies’ debt to host communities has increased to approximately N800 billion, nearly two years after the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

HOSCON claims that these debts have accumulated due to the lack of implementation of the three percent host communities’ development trust fund, as stipulated by the PIA. Dr. Mike Emuh, the National Chairman of HOSCON, expressed concern during a press conference in Abuja, stating that the government’s failure to fully implement the host communities trust fund has hindered development in communities affected by oil extraction and pipelines.

Emuh called on President Bola Tinubu to prioritize the development of oil and gas host communities as a means to address the marginalization of the Niger Delta. He argued against the current practice of channeling the 13 percent derivation funds to state governors and advocated for direct payment to the oil host communities.

He stated further, “The PIA made it very clear that three percent of the capital expenditure of the companies operating in the petroleum industry in a year should be given to the host community. This is the three percent host community trust fund.

“By next month, it will be two years that the PIA was created, we have not seen the implementation of the 3% trust fund. Last year alone, the fund was over N400 billion. This year we have another N400 billion. So over N800 billion to be paid to host communities in line with the PIA is now outstanding”.

He explained the HOSCON was “concerned about the delay in the payment of the three percent PIA. Since the implementation of the new law is in motion, there should be no further delay in the payment. So the non-implementation of this provision in the PIA is an issue.

“Again, we are also concerned about the payment of the 13 percent derivation fund to state governments instead of making the payment to the host communities as enunciated by the Presidential Implementation Committee on the PIA.

“Furthermore, the pipeline surveillance and related infrastructure should also be domesticated and in care of the host communities as articulated by the United Nations and the PIA”.

On oil theft, the HOSCON Chairman said if given the opportunity, the group was ready to expose the cabal behind the huge theft of oil and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region.

“No empty vessel comes into Nigerian waters without the knowledge of the Federal Government and the host communities and there is no ‘pregnant’ vessel that leaves Nigerian shores without the knowledge of the Federal Government and the host communities.

“The host communities know the cabal behind oil theft and we are ready to expose them if Mr. President gives the chance to expose them”, he added.   

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