Warri, Delta State, Nigeria – In a strong statement, Mr. Ofe Nene, representing The Ugborodo Federated Communities in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, has called upon the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and all International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating within its jurisdiction to promptly acknowledge the Ekpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere-HCDT) as the designated trust for the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIA).
The Ekpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere-HCDT) is in full accordance with the PIA Act, and the Ugborodo community expressed its unanimous support for this trust during a well-attended general meeting held at the Ode-Ugborodo town hall on Saturday.
Mr. Nene emphasized that Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), and other settlers, along with NUPRC, should take action in the interest of peace, a conducive environment, equity, justice, and fairness, all in alignment with the PIA Act.
The Ugborodo community’s position on this matter was solidified after a comprehensive General Meeting of the Ugborodo Federated Communities, including Ode-Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Ajudaibo, Madangho, and Ijaghala, among other neighboring communities, convened at Ikpere Hall in Ode-Ugborodo, the headquarters of Ugborodo federated communities.
The key resolutions from this meeting include:
- Confirmation of Ikpere Host Community Development Trust: The Ugborodo community reaffirmed its choice of Ikpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere HCDT) as the entity to oversee PIA implementation.
- Adherence to PIA and NUPRC Regulations: Ugborodo Community stressed the importance of adhering rigorously to the provisions of the PIA and the accompanying regulations set forth by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), especially regarding the composition of trustees, the management committee, and the advisory committee.
- Alignment with NUPRC: The community and NUPRC share a common perspective regarding the imperative of following the relevant laws and regulations governing PIA implementation in all aspects, which has been communicated to the settlors (Chevron, Shell, and other international oil companies, IOCs) operating in Ugborodoland.
- Delta State Government’s Role: The Delta State Government has been actively advocating for peace in the Ugborodo area while advising the community to resolve its internal issues.
- No Opposition to Itsekiri Communities: Ugborodo Community clarified that its stance does not contradict the Olu of Warri, the Palace, or other Itsekiri communities. Their only demand is the strict adherence to existing laws during the PIA implementation in Ugborodoland.
- Independent HCDT for Ugborodo: The community highlighted its capability to establish a separate Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) without prejudice to other host communities in Itsekiri land that may choose a different approach.
In conclusion, the Ugborodo community firmly supports the Ikpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere-HCDT) as their chosen entity for PIA implementation. Mr. Ofe Nene expressed concerns about certain individuals within the PGPA department of Chevron Nigeria Limited who seem reluctant to engage directly with host communities, potentially due to personal interests. The community vowed to resist any divisive tactics used in the past and remain resolute in ensuring the equitable and lawful implementation of PIA in Ugborodoland.