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Warri monarch meets with NDPC, Shell, others on PIA implementation

By Chido Okafor, Warri
30 May 2022   |   4:01 am
Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, has described the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as a tool that can boost development of oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta region.

Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, has described the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as a tool that can boost development of oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta region.

The monarch had gathered oil and gas stakeholders including Shell, Chevron, Seplat and NDPC and the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, in his palace to brainstorm on implementation of the Act and impact on oil communities, particularly Iwereland, the Olu’s domain.

Ogiame Atuwatse III said he convened the PIA engagement session to create awareness so the people would know what to do when the Act is activated, especially in choosing their representatives at the board of trustees.

He said: “The driving spirit and recurring theme of the PIA is inclusion and the support of local initiatives for the security of host communities. As a result, each one has equal access to not only opportunities, but also resources, as would otherwise have been the case where some are marginalised or excluded outrightly from the wealth that belongs to us all.

“We intend that the Iwereland Global Masterplan will be so well put together that all arms of government and intervention agencies become fully committed to being a part of that plan.

“We will discourage idleness and a sense of entitlement, while encouraging competence and all that brings added value to the effort. We assure government, companies, non-governmental organisations and regulatory authorities that we are well aware that our job is to make lwereland more hospitable for business, whether Energy or otherwise, no matter the obstacles thrown our way.”

Speaking on the legal and governance framework of the PIA, the Chief Executive officer, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Komolafe, commended the Olu of Warri for organising the summit, which he described as the first in the country, and provided comprehensive details on the implementation of the Act and how it would benefit the society and develop the oil-bearing Niger Delta.

Representatives of the oil firms, said the PIA was similar to the group memorandum of understanding, which they initiated. They said they had begun mobilisation of their host communities and promised to play their part when the implementation documentations were ready.

Chief Francis Omatseye, who spoke on behalf of oil-bearing communities, said the PIA, if implemented judiciously, would end the era of “gbege” (trouble) in host communities and would create a peaceful environment for oil firms to operate.