The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has intervened in the ongoing dispute between Chevron Nigeria Limited and communities in its Warri exploration and production area in Delta State.
The conflict revolves around the naming and composition of the Host Communities Trust Fund, prompting the regulatory body to step in to facilitate resolution.
In a statement released by Olaide Shonola, the Head of the Public Affairs & Communication Unit at NUPRC, the commission urged both Chevron and the affected communities, namely Ugbororo, Ugbegugun, and Denbele, to maintain peace during the resolution process.
The disagreement escalated to the point of protest, with residents from the three communities expressing dissatisfaction with Chevron’s actions, accusing the company of violating the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.
A meeting between the parties involved was convened at the NUPRC headquarters in Abuja, where Engr Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission Chief Executive (CCE), emphasized the importance of maintaining the status quo and fostering a peaceful operational environment.
Engr Komolafe reiterated the commission’s commitment to ensuring compliance with the law and addressing the concerns raised by the communities.
After carefully considering the submissions from both sides, Engr Komolafe issued a regulatory position and directed Chevron to resolve the matter promptly.
The directives include the immediate initiation of consultation meetings with the communities to delineate and name the Host Communities Trust Fund in line with the PIA.
Additionally, the Board of Trustees is to be recomposed according to the commission’s earlier directive.
The regulatory process, overseen by NUPRC’s Warri Regional Office, is expected to be concluded within two weeks.
Engr Komolafe underscored the imperative of adhering to the explicit provisions of the law by all concerned parties.