By Taiye Agbaje
An oil producing community, Aja-Omaetan in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta has threatened to sue Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) if it is excluded from the oil giant’s planned Host Community Development Trust Fund (HCDTF).
The community, therefore, urged the authorities of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to prevail on the oil company.
Aja-Omaetan made this known in protest letters and pre-action notices written on its behalf by their lawyer, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-Geoege, SAN, to Chevron and the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of NMDPRA and NUPRC and copies made available to newsmen in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the community is claiming that Chevron plans to excluded it from the list of beneficiaries of the planned trust fund owing to past disputes over oil spillages.
While arguing that the NMDPRA and NUPRC, as regulators, have the duty to ensure that operators in the oil industry comply with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Aja-Omaetan community also threatened to join both agencies in the suit if they fail to prevail on Chevron.
One of the letters reads: “Our client is one of the communities accommodating the Crude Oil and Gas Pipelines of Chevron Nigeria Limited in Dibi field, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State and has been host to Chevron Nigeria Limited facilities for years without any benefits from Chevron Nigeria Limited.
“On July 14, 2011 our client obtained a judgment from the Delta High Court in Suit No: W/105/2010 (copy herewith attached) against the Governor of Delta State, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) and one other, wherein the status of Aja-Omaetan Community as an oil producing community was firmly established beyond any equivocation.
“The Delta State Government and the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) among others, have since complied with the court order/judgment by recognising and according our client all privileges and rights as an oil producing community.
“Our client is aware that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and Chevron Nigeria Limited are currently at the verge of establishing the ‘Warri Kingdom Onshore Host Communities Development Trust’ as required under the Petroleum Industry Act No. 6, 2021.
“However, our client’s findings show that it has been maliciously excluded from the list of qualified and entitled communities in Dibi Field in an attempt to punish her because our client took Chevron Nigeria Limited to court over crude Oil spillages.
“Our client has written to Chevron Nigeria Limited to no avail, hence this complaint to the authority (NMDPRA).(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza
Edited by Sadiya Hamza