NUPRC Profiles 31 Fund Managers for Host Communities Development Trusts

Uyo, Nigeria – June 17, 2024: The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has announced the profiling of 31 competent fund managers tasked with investing 20% of the annual 3% operational expenditure (OPEX) contributions earmarked for Host Communities Development Trust Funds. This announcement was made by NUPRC’s Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, during a town hall meeting held at Watbridge Hotels in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking at the event, which was organized in collaboration with HOSTCOM Project Management and Advisory Konsult Ltd, along with Host Communities Development Board of Trustees and Settlors for Akwa Ibom and Abia States, Komolafe, represented by NUPRC’s Eket Coordinator Mr. Etukudo Williams, emphasized the Commission’s commitment to fostering sustainable development in host communities.

“To manage the funds, which represent 20% of the 3% OPEX, the commission has profiled 31 competent fund managers to invest for the Host Communities Development Trusts. Some of the incorporated HCDTs have already started the process of engaging these fund managers,” said Komolafe.

The NUPRC has also issued approvals for the incorporation of 167 Host Community Development Trusts, with 124 fully incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Of these, 70 accounts have already been funded by oil companies.

In his remarks, High Chief Style Tamaran-Ebi, the national chairman of the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, disclosed that oil firms operating in Nigeria have begun their mandated contributions to the Host Communities Development Trusts as required by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) of 2021. He stated that 70 Trusts out of the 167 incorporated had received payments totaling over ₦80 billion, with an additional $150 million for the years 2021 and 2022.

“We have verified that 70 Trusts out of 167 incorporated have been funded with ₦80 billion and the dollar component is more than $150 million. These funds are directed to the communities for sustainable development, and within a gap of five years, we anticipate significant transformation in our various communities,” Tamaran-Ebi noted.

However, he expressed disappointment over delays in forming community trusts due to legal battles and leadership struggles, urging communities to focus on investing the funds in sustainable projects. He highlighted that 75% of the funds are allocated for projects, 20% as reserve funds for business, and 5% for operational expenses, emphasizing that these resources will not be controlled by the Board of Trustees to ensure transparency.

“This money has been given to communities, and within the next few years, the Niger Delta will be transformed. The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission’s transparency mandates that these funds be used wisely for community development, not for personal gain,” he added.

Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Etim Uno, represented by Engr. Anietie Emah, stressed the importance of cooperation among Board of Trustees, Management Committees, and Advisory Committees to ensure the smooth implementation of the PIA in impacted communities.

“We need to understand that everybody cannot be the chairman of the BOT or the Management Committee simultaneously. Please, members of the BOT, let the people you represent understand what is happening to ensure smooth and effective implementation of the PIA in our communities,” Uno urged.

The town hall meeting served as a platform for discussing the roles and responsibilities of community trusts in managing the allocated funds effectively, aiming for the long-term growth and development of oil and gas-producing communities in Nigeria.

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