The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has acknowledged The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC)-operated onshore joint venture and its partners as frontrunners in the implementation of Chapter Three of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which focuses on host community development.
The recognition came during the announcement of fund managers for Host Community Trust Funds on July 21, 2023, in Abuja.
Olatokunbo Karimu, the Assistant Director of NUPRC’s Host Communities Department, revealed that SPDC, along with its joint venture partners, stands out with the highest number of fully incorporated Host Community Development Trusts (HCDTs).
Among the 61 fully incorporated HCDTs in the industry, SPDC boasts 23 trusts, followed by Agip with 13 and Newcross Petroleum with seven.
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Karimu further disclosed that a total of 113 HCDT submissions were received, with 84 approved for incorporation by the Corporate Affairs Commission, resulting in 61 fully incorporated trusts.
As part of the NNPC/SPDC/TotalEnergies/NAOC joint venture, SPDC has expanded the number of HCDTs to 25 and unveiled the trusts in Rivers, Bayelsa, and Delta states.
Their target is to complete the incorporation of 33 HCDTs for the joint venture by the year-end, with the next unveiling planned for Imo State, where the joint venture’s Assa North/Ohaji South Gas Development Project is located.
The HCDTs are instrumental in the effective implementation of the PIA, which focuses on host community development and empowerment.
The trusts serve as vital vehicles for directing funds towards community projects, ensuring equitable wealth distribution, and fostering a harmonious relationship between the industry and the communities.
In compliance with the PIA, the SPDC-operated joint venture and Shell’s deep-water business, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production company, in partnership with NNPC, have allocated over $56 million from their 2022 operations to be distributed to the HCDTs.
Igo Weli, SPDC Director and Country Head of Corporate Relations, emphasized the importance of a conducive and safe business environment for the settlors to fully benefit from the HCDTs.
He urged host communities to collaborate in maintaining undisrupted operations and securing facilities, as this directly impacts the successful utilization of the funds for community projects.