An independent exploration and production company, First E&P OML83 & 85 Joint Venture, has partnered with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited to inaugurate a development trust for its host communities in Bayelsa.
In a statement, the firms said that the trust which had been named, ‘KEFFESO Host Communities Development Trust’, was in compliance with the mandate of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement said that the trust was a not-for-profit and non-political organisation that would be governed by a constitution.
The statement read in part, “In support of its activities, the NNPC/First E&P JV will contribute three per cent of its actual operating expenditure in the upstream petroleum operations each preceding calendar year to a fund established by the Trust. The KHCDT will cater to the socio-economic needs of 11 communities in Bayelsa state, including Koluama 1, Koluama 2, Ekeni, Fish Town, Foropa, Ezetu 1, Ezetu 2, Sangana, Opu Okumbiri, Okumbiribeleu and Oginibri.”
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State Capital, the Executive Director, Corporate Services, FIRST E&P, Emmanuel Etomi, noted that the establishment of the trust was done in full compliance with the requirements of chapter three of the PIA.
“Which mandates the incorporation of a host communities development trust to aid the development of the socio-economic infrastructure of the communities within the petroleum mining lease,” Etomi said.
He said in adherence with the Act 2021, the scope of coverage for the joint venture’s social performance expanded from the initial eight host communities to include three new communities in Bayelsa State which were, Opu Okumbiri, Okumbiribeleu and Oginibri.
According to him, “Among other responsibilities, the KHCDT will implement the KEFFESO host communities’ development plan while efficiently and competently managing its assets and funds. Key areas in which the trustees will serve range from undertaking infrastructural development, facilitating economic empowerment opportunities to advancing and propagating educational development and supporting healthcare development for the KEFFESO host communities.”