PIA: Host communities tackle oil companies over refusal to pay 3% operating cost
Two years after enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, the Host Communities (HOSTCOM) producing oil and gas have condemned the deliberate violation of the Act by oil companies operating in their area, who have refused to remit the three per cent operating cost as stipulated by the Act.
Section 257 (2) of the PIA, which came into effect in August 2021, stipulates that oil and gas companies should remit three per cent of their yearly operational expenditure to affected host communities.
But two years after provision of the law, none of the oil producing companies has complied with the provision, prompting stakeholders from the affected communities to cry out yesterday.
National President of HOSTCOM, Dr. Benjamin Tamaranebi, at a press briefing, yesterday, in Abuja, expressed dismay that oil companies have refused to make the three per cent remittance two years after passage of the PIA.
He said the action of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) is unacceptable, adding that it is a precursor to the crisis in the affected communities.
Although Tamaranebi passed a vote of confidence on the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), a creation of the PIA, for tackling challenges facing the HOSTCOM, he noted that the regulatory agency needs to ensure that host communities get what is due to them.
HOSTCOM, therefore, called on the Federal Government to compel oil companies operating in the region to pay their three per cent operating derivation, as stipulated by the PIA.
Tamaranebi, who was joined at the press briefing by other stakeholders from the host communities, called on NUPRC to do the needful against the defaulting oil companies in line with relevant provisions of the PIA.
He declared that each of the defaulting companies has a penalty of $ 1,825 million to pay on the rate of $2,500 per day as stipulated by PIA.
He said: “We call on all stakeholders to join hands with NUPRC to facilitate speedy implementation of the three per cent Operation Expenditure (OPEX), which is overdue by the settlers.”
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