PIA: Ikuru Targets Water, Market With GEIL/LekOil JV HOSTCOM Funds
By Egufe Yafugborhi
January 18, 2023
PORT HARCOURT – IKURU community, one of Rivers state host communities to Green Energy International Limited/Lekoil (GEIL)/ LekOil Otakikpo Joint Venture (JV) has said it would commit initial funds accrued to them under the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) for provision of potable water and market among other development priorities.
Prof Leychas Gilbert, Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Ikuru Town Community Development Trust, highlighted the community’s pressing needs Wednesday in Port Harcourt where the GEIL/LekOil JV inaugurated the BOT as required by the PIA.
Prof Gilbert told Vanguard, “We have a lot we need at the grassroots in the community. We need a good market, we need adequate potable water. We need a car park in our community. We need good resort spots and hospitality businesses in our community.
“Thankfully, Ikuru Town is blessed with enviable natural reserves. We can leverage harnessing some of these potentials to expand hospitality and economic opportunities in our community. And these priorities have been carefully reached from a participatory needs assessment.
“And as Trustees, our responsibility is to try as much as possible to work with the management board to ensure that whatever money that is accrued to the community will be used for the development of the community.”
For Prof. Anthony Adegbulugbe, Chairman GEIL, “Since signing of the PIA into law, GEIL, and LekOil Otakikpo JV has engaged the community in a series of activities essentially to galvanize support for a need assessment which eventually birthed a community development plan (CDP) that has since been validated by the community.
“This was quickly followed by the establishment of the Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) through the engagement of community stakeholders, approvals by the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission as “Ikuru Town Host Community Development Trust.’’
The oil firm and the community believe the new relations under the Trust would grow more cordial, check conflicts, improve living standards among community stakeholders and give the oil firm a more enabling environment to operate.