GEIL Inaugurates Ikuru Host Community Development Trust
By Isaac Asabor
January 20, 2023
LAGOS/Nigeria: In line with the Federal Government’s bid to tackle the persistent issues dominant among oil-producing communities across the Niger Delta, leading indigenous oil and gas-producing company, Green Energy International Limited (GEIL) has inaugurated the Host Community Development Trust, (HCDT) in full compliance with the Petroleum Industry Act.
In August 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) into law, establishing legal provisions required for the establishment of Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) by oil-producing companies operating in the region.
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The petroleum law made provision for oil-producing companies to devote three percent (3%) of their yearly Operational Expenditure (OPEX) to the development of their host communities, which will be managed through the HCDT; a move hailed by industry stakeholders as one that would be of benefit to the host communities.
According to the Chairman, GEIL, Prof. Anthony Adegbulugbe, “Since the signing of the PIA into law, the GEIL and LekOil Otakikpo Joint Venture (JV) has engaged the community in a series of community-focused activities with the good people of Ikuru town at the grassroots level, essentially to galvanise support to conduct a need assessment which eventually birthed a community development plan (CDP) that has since been validated by members of the community.
Adegbulugbe added that “This was quickly followed by the establishment of the HCDT through the engagement of community stakeholders, approvals by the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and registration of the trust with the Corporate Affairs Commission “CAC” as “Ikuru Town Host Community Development Trust.’’
He went on to commend members of Ikuru town for their cooperation since inception, pledging that the company will continue to do more than is required of it, to ensure that the community is well taken care of.
Also commenting, the representative of Ikuru Town, HRM King Dr. Aaron Miller Ikuru KSC hailed GEIL for its commitment to the development of the community, calling the company a dependable partner.
According to him, “every member of the community is satisfied with the high level of commitment the JV has shown towards the improvement of the community in areas of education, health and social development of the inhabitants and the quality of life generally over the years.”
The HCDT is meant to address the hostilities by oil-producing communities towards the operators in parts of the region, which has led to the stealing of massive volumes of crude oil daily and in some cases, the destruction of oil facilities.
It is also intended to improve the development of oil communities, improve their living standard, and give them a sense of belonging in the ownership and operation of oil and gas assets in their domain.