We need consultation, public hearing to review PIA regulations – Farouk

Authority Chief Executive (ACE), Mr Farouk Ahmed
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By Emmanuella Anokam

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulation Authority (NMDPRA) says consultation with stakeholders and public hearing must be conducted to review proposed draft regulations of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The Authority’s Chief Executive, NMDPRA, Mr Farouk Ahmed, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at its stakeholder’s forum on Midstream Petroleum Host Community Development Trust (MPHCDT) regulation.

Ahmed, represented by Mr Ogbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, said consultation was necessary to provide a platform for harnessing ideas for the HCDT implementation.

“The regulation shall apply only to the Midstream Petroleum Host Communities and a holder of a license that is engaged in the midstream petroleum operation in accordance with Section 318 of the PIA.

“This is a platform for us to deliberate and get feedback on the draft regulations that we publish,” he said.

In an overview, Dr Joseph Tolorunse, the Authority’s Secretary and Legal Adviser, said the NMDPRA may by notice designate the facilities to which these regulations shall apply in accordance with the PIA.

He listed the objectives of the regulations to include the procedure for the establishment and administration of the Trust Fund for the midstream petroleum host communities and to establish parameters to safeguard the Trust Fund.

According to him, the regulation would also establish grievance resolution mechanism for the settlement of disputes between the host communities and licensees.

“The regulation will make general rules for the implementation of the development of the midstream petroleum host communities. It is expected to promote social and economic benefits from petroleum operations to the host communities.

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“It will enhance peaceful and harmonious co-existence between the licensees, lessees and the host communities, as well as curtail pipeline vandalism and increase oil production,” he said.

Also speaking, Chairman, House Committee on Host Communities, Dounamene Dekor, said the committee had carried out a series of engagements to understand the current status of implementation of benefits to host communities.

He urged the Authority to expedite action to apply proactive and innovative mechanisms that would ensure the speedy and effective operationalisation of funding of host communities in the sector.

“We have noted some of the challenges that the authorities face in the implementation of the PIA, particularly the omission of the mainstream petroleum operations in Section 240-2 that provides for the funding of HCPs.

“Our committee is ready and already taking necessary legislative steps to address these gaps and challenges,” he assured. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Salif Atojoko

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