Reps knock oil operators over letdown of host communities

• Vow to stop IOCs from onshore divestment
• We want dignified life for Ogoni people, MOSOP insists

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Host Communities has tackled some oil operating companies over implementation of the Host Community Development Trust (HCDT), saying the implementation by some oil firms was not functional, and that oil-producing communities in Niger Delta have not started getting benefits of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Host Communities, Dumnamene Dekor, disclosed in Port Harcourt, while speaking to newsmen during a Technical Session on the Implementation of Host Communities Development Trusts, HCDT, organised by Spaces for Change (S4C), with support from Ford Foundation.

Dekor raised the alarm that since the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act in 2021, host communities have not experienced any positive change, rather have remained poor despite playing host to critical national assets. He regretted that instead of IOCs to ensure full implementation of the PIA, they were on the move to divest.

Dekor said: “By the enactment of the PIA since 2021, this is 2023, and we have not seen the host communities stop complaining, meaning that the HCDTs are not operational.

“In most cases where they (oil companies) claim that they have inaugurated the HCDT, they have not started getting the benefit of the law, and it leaves the people of host communities in the same way they have always been. As a Committee, we will stop at nothing in ensuring that the law is being obeyed.”

“MEANWHILE, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has restated its commitment to bring about dignified living to their people, while warning against reckless comments on many issues, especially in respect of the resumption of oil production by oil firms in the area.

The President of the body, Fegalo Nsuke, in a statement, said the association was prepared to change the story of their people, noting that this would end decades of deceit by a small group, which have exploited the resilience of the indigents to their personal advantages.

Nsuke also added that the Ogoni struggle has become business for some people, who never wanted it to end, as they take every opportunity of it for relevance and titles, insisting that all these must be put aside so that the people will benefit maximally for their agitation.

Credit: Guardian

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