The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has waded into the dispute between Chevron Nigeria Limited and communities within the company’s Warri exploration and production area, Delta State, over Host Communities Trust Fund.
The NUPRC urged both parties in the dispute to maintain the peace, pending the resolution of the matter.
At a meeting between the feuding parties at the NUPRC headquarters in Abuja, the Commission’s Chief Executive (CCE), Mr Gbenga Komolafe, urged them to maintain the status quo and ensure that peace reigned in the operational area.
The dispute between Chevron and the Ugborodo, Ugbegugun and Denbele communities in Warri South Local Government is over the naming of the host community trust fund established for the communities and the composition of its Board of Trustees.
People from the three communities were reported to have staged a protest in the Escravos Terminal area, accusing Chevron of going against the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021).
Komolafe, in a statement by Mrs Olaide Shonola, Head Public Affairs and Communication Unit, NUPRC, said NUPRC as the regulator was determined to ensure that the proper thing is done immediately.
Having listened to the submissions of the parties, Komolafe issued a regulatory position and directed Chevron on the resolution of the matter which must be implemented within two weeks.
He emphasised that the law which was very explicit on the matter in contention must be obeyed by all the parties concerned.
Among other directives, the CCE called for the immediate convening of consultation meetings with the communities on the proper delineation and naming of the Fund in compliance with the PIA.
He equally called for the re-composition of the Board of Trustees in line with an earlier directive of the Commission.
“The process which must be supervised by the Commission’s Warri Regional Office is expected to be finalised and the report sent to the Commission within two weeks,” he said.