The Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd (SPDC) operated Joint Venture (JV) has disbursed a total of N3.72 billion and another $12.32 million for community development in compliance with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA,) amid the unveiling of two Host Community Development Trusts in Imo State on October 13, 2023.
As stipulated by the PIA, the funds are from the 3% operating expenditure of the JV from the previous year and enables Trusts to plan and execute development projects in their communities.
SPDC, in collaboration with its joint venture partners — NNPC Ltd., TotalEnergies and ENI – has, so far, unveiled 27 Trusts out of the 33 proposed in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Imo states, with more to be funded as the set-up processes mature.
The large number of fully established Trusts since the signing of the PIA into law in August 2021 has been acknowledged as an industry record.
Officials of the Imo State Government and community leaders cheered as Assa North and Egbema/Oguta Trusts were formally presented as development vehicles to the public in Owerri.
“The Imo State Government is happy at the progress in the setting up of Trusts and will continue to support them to achieve set objectives,” said the Commissioner of Petroleum Resources, Prof. Eugene Opara.
With funding of Trusts derived from operations, community disruptions and vandalism will inevitably lead to fewer cash, resulting in fewer projects and programmes. We expect communities to help ensure hitch-free operations and fully benefit from the new dispensation.
SPDC Managing Director and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, in an address read by Community Relations Manager, Central Hub, Evans Krukrubo, advised Trusts to see themselves as partners with industry operators.
“With funding of Trusts derived from operations, community disruptions and vandalism will inevitably lead to fewer cash, resulting in fewer projects and programmes. We expect communities to help ensure hitch-free operations and fully benefit from the new dispensation.”
In their addresses, Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, and Chief Upstream Investment Officer, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS,) Mr. Bala Wunti, noted that the idea of Trusts would boost community development in oil producing areas if all parties collaborate well and decide to resolve grievances through dialogue.
The Chairman of Assa North Trust Mrs. Eugene Onyiriuka and her counterpart for Egbema/Oguta pledged to work for the development of their communities.
The two Trusts comprise 11 communities which were among the more than 300 that SPDC JV engaged in respect of the PIA implementation. Most of the Trusts are now ready to function fully, having set up the PIA mandated three levels of governance — Board of Trustees, Management Committees and Community Advisory Committees.