Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Groups that identified themselves as crude oil host communities have vowed to stop production if the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) fails to desist from actions that could affect the three per cent Host Community fund.
The 2021 Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) stipulates that the host communities be allocated three per cent of operation cost by the oil companies in their areas.
The communities warned the commission to desist from activities that take a toll on the fund such as expenditure on the HostComply portal.
Their position was contained in the statement jointly issued by a foremost Youth Leader, Mr. Christopher Tuduo; His Royal Highness, Theophilus Moses; Chairman, Dodo River Rural Development Authority, Francis Amamogiran; Hon. Target Segibo of Oporoma Rural Development Authority and former Chairman of Koluama Clan Oil and Gas Committee, Mr. Ebimielayefa Dick- Ogbeyan.
According to the statement, NUPRC must reverse any action and regulations adversely affecting the host communities to avoid a severe backlash.
The host communities, said the leaders in the statement, are often excluded from the decision-making process, which results in the use of public resources.
The communities declared their readiness to take decisive action and escalate their efforts to address the concerns of the oil and gas communities if the NUPRC fails to treat the matter as an emergency.
Emphasising their proactive engagement to pacify the youths across various communities since the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), they underscored that the stability of oil operations could be compromised if NUPRC allows the situation to deteriorate further.
The communities asked NUPRC to recognise the urgency of the matter and take immediate, substantive steps to resolve the concerns at hand.
They warned that improper handling of host community issues could have negative repercussions on Nigeria’s oil production and economy.