Beyond Profits: Review of Host Community Provisions in Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Bill 2020
Chapter 3 of the 2020 Petroleum Industry Bill makes provisions for the establishment and management of a petroleum host community development trust, as a framework for the transfer of development benefits to petroleum host communities. The objectives include to foster sustainable prosperity within host communities, provide direct social and economic benefits from petroleum operations to host communities, enhance peaceful and harmonious co-existence between licensees or lessees and host communities and to create a framework to support the development of host communities. As well intentioned as the provisions of the Chapter are, the Bill makes no efforts towards building trust and participation, conflict resolution and resource justice.
In this review of the PIB, We the People highlights contentious issues in the proposal including governance structures of the Host Communities Development Trust which seems to overtly emphasize the control of the settlor, the determination of the needs of host communities which seems to make it the responsibility of the settlor, the determination and definition of host communities which leaves it at the discretions of the settlor, the passing of the responsibility of protecting oil installations to host communities, the absence of dispute resolution mechanisms, and provisions which allows the continued flaring of gas, etc.