June 19, 2024

OML54 communities urge Aradel for details of 3% HCDT

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Adewale Akintaro

Members of OML54 communities have asked Aradel Holdings Plc, to make available the details of the 3percent host community development fund accruable to the community as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA.

The people who made the demand during a townhall meeting with the management of Aradel Holdings Plc, insisted that the host communities ought to know how much has accrued to them from the 3% HCDT fund, either quarterly or annually.

Aradel, formerly known as Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Plc, NDPR is the operator of OML54 and Aradel Modular Refinery in Ahoada East and Abua/Odual Local Government Area of Rivers State. The company in the past, has been at loggerheads with its host communities leading to endless protests.

Speaking, the General Secretary of Ogbele community, Comrade Solomon Oyagiri, lamented that Aradell Holdings has not accorded the community its due, despite developmental promises made by its pioneer Managing Director, Aret Adams.

Oyagiri cited the continuous refusal by the company to give details of the 3% development fund accrued to it as one of the vexing situations created by the company, and queried the non payment of equitable fees from badges and vessels trucking at the community river bank.

He alleged that the selective justice created to cover the fraud and mismanagement of the host community trustfund was the bane of development, progress and the cause of myriads of litigations to contest injustice and marginalization by the people and urged the company to align with genuine community representatives.

“A Post Environmental Impact Assessment, as a result of hazardous pollution and accompanying economic deprivation and social benefits to numerous fishermen and women arising from Aradel’s trucking operations on its coastal lines has not been carried out.

“We frowned at the continuous refusal by Aradell Holdings Nigeria Plc to implement the agreement reached with the community after the September 2022 peaceful protest. Even some staff of Aradel have teamed up with some of our community members to thwart the reached agreement.

“Aradel has refused to employ our sons and daughters from the host families into managerial positions; there is lack of total employment, refusal to adhere to the Local Content Act and impoverishment of our people through lack of award of contracts.”

Responding, the Community Relations Manager, Aradel Holdings Plc, Mr Blessing Okpowo, promised to take their demands to the management and assured the people that the community’s maternity home would soon be upgraded to a cottage hospital where healthcare services would be accessible and affordable.

Okpowo urged the people to be united in their demands and affairs, saying, ‘only unity of purpose can attract the needed development,’ and assured the people of a regular interface with the community leadership.

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