A joint venture operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd (SPDC) has disbursed a total of N3.72 billion and another $12.32 million for community development in compliance with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
As stipulated by the PIA signed into law in August 2021, the funds are from the 3 percent operating expenditure of the joint venture from the previous year and enables Trusts to plan and execute development projects in their communities.
SPDC, in collaboration with its joint venture partners – NNPC Ltd, TotalEnergies and ENI – unveiled two Trusts in Imo State on Friday, bringing the total to 27 out of the 33 proposed in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Imo states, with more to be funded as the set-up processes mature, according to a statement.
In Imo, Assa North and Egbema/Oguta Trusts were formally presented as development vehicles to the public in Owerri.
“The Imo State Government is happy at the progress in the setting up of Trusts and will continue to support them to achieve set objectives,” said the Commissioner of Petroleum Resources, Prof. Eugene Opara.
The two Trusts comprise 11 communities which were among the more than 300 that SPDC JV engaged in respect of the PIA implementation, according to the statement.
SPDC Managing Director and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, in an address read by Community Relations Manager, Central Hub, Evans Krukrubo, advised Trusts to see themselves as partners with industry operators.
“With funding of Trusts derived from operations, community disruptions and vandalism will inevitably lead to fewer cash, resulting to less projects and programmes. We expect communities to help ensure hitch-free operations and fully benefit from the new dispensation,” he said.
The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe and the Chief Upstream Investment Officer, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, Mr. Bala Wunti, noted that the idea of Trusts would boost community development in oil-producing areas if all parties collaborate well and decide to resolve grievances through dialogue.