The State commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr John Etim, has urged oil and gas companies in the state to hasten the implementation the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 for the development of host communities.
The commissioner stated this during a roundtable meeting with the oil and gas companies in Uyo recently.
Etim explained that the meeting was convened to discuss efforts made by relevant companies towards ensuring the smooth takeoff of the Host Communities Trust Fund, as part of the implementation of the PIA.
He stated that the PIA was enacted with new ideologies for fiscal policies, regulations, environmental protection and host communities’ development.
The commissioner called on the companies operating in the state to make haste in setting up the Host Communities Trust Board in order to meet up with the deadline of August 16, 2022.
Etim stressed the need for an enlarged enlightenment workshop to educate stakeholders in the host communities, noting that some of them were ignorant of the Act.
“Most of the stakeholders in the host communities are ignorant of the provisions of the Act,” he said. “Our concern, as a ministry, is to ensure that people with high integrity, intelligence and capacity are appointed into all arms of the Trust Fund for effectiveness and efficiency in its management.”
The commissioner advised the companies to liaise with the State Government in all processes to avoid restiveness and conflicts, assuring them of the ministry’s readiness to render the necessary assistance to enable them achieve their goals of implementing the PIA.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Valerie Obot, solicited for the companies’ partnership in hosting the enlightenment workshop slated for July 5-6, 2022.
Some of the representatives of the oil and gas companies, operating in the state, thanked the State Government for giving them the enabling environment to operate.
They also applauded the ministry for their partnership and support, stating that they have started the implementation of the PIA and following the guidelines of a smooth transition from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regime to the Trust Fund.