July 23, 2024

HOSTCOM insists oil theft is perpetrated by elites, public officials who control vessels 

Oredola Adeola
The Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) has revealed that crude oil theft in Nigeria is majorly perpetrated by organised criminals including respected elites and public officials who are using vessels to steal the country’s crude oil.

Chief Benjamin Tamaranebi, National President, HOSTCOM disclosed this in reaction to the approval and gazette of the Host Communities Development Draft Regulations by the Federal Government.

The HOSTCOM President while speaking at the end of the three-day Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulations Commission (NUPRC) stakeholders’ engagement on draft regulations as mandated by Section 216 of the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) on Wednesday.

Chief Tamaranebi insisted the host communities do not own vessels.

Speaking on the sideline of the work done on the first phase of consultations which included Host Communities Development Regulations; Domestic Gas Delivery Obligation Regulations and others, the HOSTCOM President revealed that all the demands of the communities were not captured in the draft regulations, but confirmed that the issues considered reflected the significance of the host communities to the petroleum industry.

According to him, some of the considerations suggested focused on the environment, sabotage, and funding as contained in section 257 of the PIA.He further noted that the NUPRC stakeholders’ consultation process enabled them to air their views on the sustainable development of the communities that had been structured by the new act.

He said, “We are delighted that communities will now be guaranteed and be structured with the industry players and the government to sustain what is due to the communities.

“We must continue to engage the government holistically for the progress of the communities,” he said.

High Chief George Bucknor, HOSTCOM National Intergovernmental Officer, corroborating the position earlier shared by the President commended the efforts of the NUPRC and the Presidential panel on the draft regulations.

He however noted that Nigeria has been unable to gain effectively from exploration activities in the Niger Delta because of the over  63 years of abandonment.

Chief Bucknor insisted that Nigeria cannot get the PIA without the involvement of the host communities.

He said, “Today, we have cognisance and statutory authority in the industry regulations. We are already in, we are going to put the past behind us.

“They gave us a three percent OPEC quota which is nothing, we have come to look at how to put up a regulation that will provide a seamless flow of production of crude oil and gas in Nigeria.

“If they do not take into cognisance of the concerns of the host communities, it’s going to be half baked,” he said.

EnergyDay gathered that the three-day stakeholders’ forum which started in Abuja on Monday came to a close on Wednesday.

Some of the draft regulations reviewed by the stakeholders during the second phase include; Acreage Management (Drilling and Production), Regulations, and Upstream Petroleum Environmental Regulations.Others are Upstream Petroleum Environmental Remediation Fund Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Safety Regulations; Unitisation Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations and Frontier Exploration Fund Regulations.