The attention of Anambra State Government has been drawn to the activities of some group of persons operating under the name of Host Communities of Anambra State, Coordinators of oil Producing communities in Anambra State who are embarking on State wide campaign, registering communities and local governments in Anambra State into committees and sub-committees for the purpose of collection and/or payment of 3% of money from oil companies or as part of the 13% derivation fund to the State.
According to an official statement signed by Barrister Tony Ikechukwu Ifeanya, Anambra State Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021(Chapter 3) clearly states that host communities are those towns on whose soil or land the oil companies are operating their business and not Anambra State or any State as a whole.
“He went on to clarify that “The only towns in Anambra State that can qualify as Host Communities are: (i) Enugwu-Otu Aguleri (ii) Eziagulu Otu and (iii) Mkpunando Aguleri communities in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State where Orient Petroleum Resources is operating in OPL 915 and 916, Anaku, Omor and Umerum in Ayamelum Local Government Area where Orient Petroleum Resources (OPR) is also operating. Other towns are Ogwuikpele and Ogwuaniocha in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State where Sterling Energy & Oil Production Company (SEEPCO) are presently operating in OML 143. Sahara Oil is also presently carrying out Seismic acquisition in their OPL 228 and may soon start production having done with their seismic acquisition operations.”
Only “these towns and communities in Anambra State are to get 3% of the operating companies’ expenditure for the preceding year for their social infrastructural development, see S.240 (2) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 which stipulates that “Each settlor, where applicable through the operator, shall make an annual contribution to the applicable host communities development trust fund of an amount equal to 3% of its actual annual operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream petroleum operations affecting the host communities for which the applicable host communities development trust fund was established”
The State Government therefore warns any person or persons or group campaigning and registering communities and Local Governments into Committees for the purpose of collection and or payment of 3% from oil companies being 13%derivation fund to be guided accordingly. The State Government is not part of this exercise and members of the affected communities must be careful to avoid being scammed.