ALL Grace Energy Limited (AGEL), an indigenous oil company operating (OML17) in Rivers, has reaffirmed commitment to the development of its host community in compliance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The Executive Director Corporate Affairs and Development, AGEL, Prof.Adeola Adenikinju, gave the assurance on Saturday during the inauguration of the board of Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) in Port Harcourt.
Adenikinju noted that the inauguration of the seven-member board would provide a unique opportunity to begin a new era in the development of the community. According to him, since the signing of the PIA in 2021, the company has ensured commitment to advancing understanding of the act, with regard to establishment of the HCDT.
Adenikinju said that compliance with the PIA would deepen the existing mutual relationship and trust-building between the company and the host community. He said: “The PIA contains relevant provisions which form the basis of strong governance and management structure for the host communities’ development trust.
“Consequently, we have ensured that our sustainable development initiative is geared towards direct social investment programmes to address development deficits through providing empowerment of women and youths.”
He said this would be done through skill acquisition, scholarships, health outreach, direct community contracts, infrastructure, and a lot of other sustainable development initiatives. Adenikinju commended the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and Rivers Government for their continued support to foster positive development outcomes in the host community.
The Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs in Rivers, Engr. Charles Amadi, said that implementation of the act, would enable All Grace Energy Limited and the host community to operate in a mutually beneficial way.
He urged the host community to work together with the company to ensure peaceful coexistence.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Board of Trustee(BOT), Mr Dandyson Onigah, said that implementation of the PIA marked a new dawn where there would be no bickerings between oil companies and host communities,
Onigah said with the operation of the PIA, the community could make plans toward sustainable development, knowing that there would be funds for that purpose. He said that the newly inaugurated board would work in synergy with the company to ensure peace and achieve success in their operations.
The BoT chairman gave the assurance that every misunderstanding or complaint would be properly addressed to ensure free flow of business in the area. Also, the Chairman of Ogbakor-Ubima, Mr Emmanuel Azubuike, lauded the company for steps taken to implement the act, saying that the community would continue to sustain the existing mutual relationship with the company.(NAN)