NOA-CISLAC ACTIVITY REPORT
1.0 Activity Title: STAKEHOLDER INTERACTIVE SESSION ON THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ACT (PIA) 2021
2.0 Activity Types: Advocacy Visit and Town Hall Interaction
3.0 Period of Activity: Two (2) Days
Start Date: Wednesday, 20 October 2021
End Date: Thursday, 21 October 2021
4.0 Activity Locations:
Day 1 – Palace of the Paramount Ruler, Eket Kingdom and; Palace of the Paramount Ruler, Ibeno Kingdom, both in Akwa Ibom State
Day 2 – Emerald Event Center, 119 Edet Akpan Avenue (Four Lanes), Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
5.0 Objective of Activity
• To promote public understanding of the provisions of the PIA
• To promote the inherent benefits of the PIA to petroleum producing communities
6.0 Description of Activity
On 16 August 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) earlier passed by the National Assembly, thus establishing the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). The PIA provides a legal framework for the operations of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria after 65 years of commercial oil exploration. However, the Act has been greeted with mixed reactions, especially in oil bearing communities, necessitating urgent advocacy and engagements to scale up public enlightenment and promote frank conversations around the PIA as well as improve public acceptance of the Act.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in collaboration organized stakeholders’ engagements to drive advocacy around the PIA and push for public acceptance of the PIA in the Niger Delta region. The first of such was held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State with advocacy visits and a stakeholders’ interactive session.
The Advocacy Visits to the traditional rulers took place between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm on Day 1.
The Interactive Session commenced at 10:00am on Day 2 with the National Anthem and National Prayer (Second Stanza of National Anthem). It was anchored by Mr. Jackson Ibok of NOA Akwa Ibom State Directorate.
NOA Director General, Dr. Garba Abari was represented by the Rivers State Director, Barr. Young Ayotamuno. The Akwa Ibom State Director, Mr. Enoh Uyo who handled the mobilization for the events and the Cross River State Director, Mr. Amissine Ogban were present at the events. Also in attendance were Assistant Director Press, Mr. Paul Odenyi; Assistant Chief Press Officer, David Ofurum and; Programme Officer Samuel Oloche all from the National Headquarters
7.1 Day 1
Remarks and Responses
• Remarks by the Director General, National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, Represented by the Rivers State Director, Barr. Young Ayotamuno
He commended the Paramount Ruler of Eket, His Royal Majesty, Edidem Etim Charles Daniel Abia and the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, His Royal Majesty, Owong Effiong Bassey Archianga for keeping the peace in their respective domains despite reservations about the Petroleum Industry Act among oil producing communities. He also lauded the contributions of the Traditional Rulers of Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON) to the emergence of the PIA and called on oil producing communities to embrace the PIA and take advantage of its inherent benefits for the development of their communities. He then pointed out that the provision for Host Community Development Trust Fund is another layer of funding for oil producing communities, identifying other funding vehicles for host communities to include the 13% Derivation, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Federal Ministry of Niger Delta and the Amnesty Programme.
• The Country Director, OXFAM, Mr. Vincent Ahonsi, represented by Mr. Henry Ushie
He said OXFAM was partnering with NOA and CISLAC on advocacy around the PIA to ensure inclusiveness in the utilization of the Host Communities Development Fund for development purposes. He noted that the Fund is a good starting point for improving the development of host communities, adding that if well utilized, it would serve as a booster to canvass for more allocation.
• Executive Secretary, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mallam Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), represented by Mr. Chinedu Bassey
He urged oil bearing communities to deliberately take advantage of the obvious benefits of the provisions of the Act by understanding the law. He stressed that the role of stakeholders and host communities in particular were critical to maximizing benefits from the Act, hence the need for proper sensitization of Nigerians on the PIA.
• Response by the Paramount Ruler of Eket, Edidem Etim Abia
He decried the inability of oil producing communities in the Niger Delta to carry on with their traditional fishing businesses due to the adverse impact of oil exploration which has killed off fishes in water bodies in the area. He also frowned at the jettisoning of the Niger Delta Master Plan and canvassed a better deal for oil producing communities as well as the investment of the 30% of Profit Oil and Gas in agricultural development rather than exploration.
• Response by the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, Owong (Dr.)Effiong Archianga, JP
He expressed delight at the passage of the PIA after many years of legislation. He however described the ownership of shares in the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited by the state to the exclusion of oil producing communities as unfair. He also called for an amendment of the PIA to allocate 10% rather than 3% of oil companies’ Operating Expense to host communities.
7.2 Day 2
• Opening Remarks by the Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari, represented by the Rivers State Director, Barr. Young Ayotamuno
He said the PIA seeks to promote growth and eliminate uncertainties in the legal and regulatory processes in the Petroleum Industry noting that with the PIA in place, the governance and fiscal structure for the oil industry in Nigeria as well the development of oil producing communities and connected matters are provided for. He was of the view that no law is so perfect that it cannot be improved upon as indicated by the fact, in just one month of operation of the Act, President Buhari has proposed a set of amendments to make the law more effective in tackling the issues it is meant to solve.
He also observed that as it is today, oil communities have the vehicles of the federal budget, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Amnesty programme, the state government budget and the newly introduced Host Communities Development Trust Fund (HCDTF) to seek for the development of its areas. He said some of these funds will come directly to oil bearing communities through the NDDC and the HCDTF which has become operational under the new PIA. He said the PIA provides a framework for accelerated action for the development of oil producing communities and appealed to participants to listen to the experts who will expound what the law provides for host communities while anticipating their responses on the concerns by the stakeholders.
7.2.2 Goodwill Messages
• The Executive Director, CISLAC, Mallam Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani).
He expressed appreciation to the NOA for the formidable collaboration to promote conversations around the PIA with a view to addressing genuine concerns. He observed that Nigeria, in the last ten years, has lost an estimated $50 billion worth of investments as a result of non-passage of the PIA, leading to lack of progress and stagnation in the petroleum industry. He noted that the PIA provides a direct benefit framework with potential to enable sustainable development of host and impacted communities. He however observed that the delivery of such benefits remain subject to the effective implementation of the Act and the crucial role of host communities towards the actualization of this goal. He therefore hoped that the engagement will provide the platform for stakeholders’ engagement to drive advocacy for the effective implementation of the PIA through scaling up public enlightenment and promoting frank conversations around the Act and its inherent benefits, pending future amendment.
• The Country Director, OXFAM, Mr. Vincent Ahonsi Represented by Mr. Henry Ushie
He urged Niger Deltans to become more active in monitoring the utilization of the Host Communities Development Fund and hold its managers accountable. He said the partnership with NOA and CISLAC is aimed at empowering host communities with relevant knowledge of the PIA from the premise that when people are empowered, they can better demand for and achieve inclusion in development.
• The Civil Society Representative on the Board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Peter Egbule
He described the turnout of participants as an indication of the faith Nigerians have in the country. He urged participants to use the interaction to gain understanding of the provisions of the PIA as passed and signed into law and avoid confusing them with some provisions of the earlier draft versions which were not passed.
• The Paramount Ruler of Eastern Obolo, HRM Obong Elder Harry John
He praised the passage of the PIA after many years of legislation, although he would have preferred 5% to be allocated to host communities, rather than 3%. He stressed that President Buhari has no ill intentions for oil bearing communities in signing the Act and called on Niger Deltans to avoid making the PIA a basis for conflict in the region.
• The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Akwa Ibom State, Barr. Uko Udom, Represented by Barr. Ekaette Unyimieobong Ubokudom
He described the interactive session as a new beginning for Akwa Ibom State with regard to the PIA. He said his Ministry would harness the views and feelings of Akwa Ibomites through the interactive session so as to enable the state make better informed interventions around the Act.
• The Chairman, Ibeno Local Government Area, High Chief Henry William Mkpa
He made a case for the NOA to be saddled with the responsibility of identifying host communities under the PIA in the absence of the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) while commending the NOA for the foresightedness of organizing the interactive session. He also called on non-oil producing communities in the Niger Delta to support the full implementation of the PIA as they also stand to benefit from the development that will result therefrom.
• The Benefits of Petroleum Industry Act 2021 to Oil Host Communities and the Economy by Dr. Aniefiok Esetang (Former Director, NOA Akwa Ibom State)
He began his presentation by identifying seven institutions recognized by the new law to include Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (Chapter 1, Section 4), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Chapter 1, Section 29), Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, International Oil Companies (IOCs), Indigenous Oil and Gas Producing Companies, The Minister of Petroleum Resources and Host Communities (Chapter 3).
He also identified eight benefits of the Act to the economy, including transformation of the petroleum sector into a hub of business activities; commercialization of the activities of NNPC Ltd.; enhanced government revenue leading to more development projects; enhanced investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector; expiration of exploration/prospecting licenses which will discouraged holding of oil fields without utilization; market forces control of petroleum products prices; enhanced quality products and services from investors; and segregation of Upstream, Midstream and Downstream operations bringing more revenue and employment opportunities to Nigerians.
On the benefits of the PIA to host communities, he identified seven important benefits. They are: Host Communities Development Trust; members of host communities to be shareholders in NNPC Ltd. when its shares are sold; the 3% levy on oil companies to translate into huge funds annually; penalty on gas flaring against oil companies to go to host communities; contribution to environmental remediation fund is a condition for granting of license to operators in the oil and gas sector; revocation of license for failure to comply with the Act; and the exemption of the Host Communities Development Trust Fund from taxation.
He therefore called on Niger Delta communities not to reject the Act because of reservations around the 3% allocation to the Host Communities Development Trust, noting that the figure is subject to subsequent upward review. He also highlighted the responsibility of host communities to reciprocate by ensuring that installations and facilities of operating companies are protected from damage and vandalism as well as ensuring that the operations of these companies are not disrupted by the people of the area. The punishment for community linked infractions, he noted, is that community or communities involved shall forfeit its entitlements to its Trust Fund to the extent of the cost of effecting repairs to such damaged facilities. To avoid in-fighting among oil producing communities, he recommended that such communities should begin immediately to consult with each other towards setting up Board of Trustees, Management Committees and Advisory Committees in their communities.
• The Role of Citizens in Enhancing the Smooth Implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 in Oil Producing Communities by Barr. Inih Archibong (Private Legal Practitioner Director)
He noted that despite the oil and gas industry’s economic standing, it was in the past plagued “by opaque licensing deals, bureaucratic hurdles and eye-watering corruption”, culminating in low rates of investments, rampant pollution and little economic development in Nigeria. All these, he said, are the issues the PIA 2021 seeks to address.
He highlighted the need for citizens to take advantage of the provisions of the Act in demanding transparency by the oil companies in the disclosure of their Operating Expenditure for the preceding year for the purpose of accurately determining what amounts to 3% that accrues to the host communities.
He said it was the responsibility of citizens to study and understand the Act and also to discuss it in meetings with friends, community members and local experts with a view to appreciating how the law can benefit them and their communities. He also tasked citizens to test and use the law and approach the courts for redress where there are displeasure arising from the usage of the act. Furthermore, he said citizens must engage in advocacy to identify unfavorable parts of the Act and find ways to change it, stressing that every law is a draft which can always be amended. He stressed the duty of citizens to never use violence in expressing grievances against the Act, noting that physical violence only makes one’s case bad.
8.0 Interactive Session:
Interventions by Participants:
• The Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, HRM Owong (Dr.) Effiong Bassey Archianga, JP, represented by the Legal Adviser Ibeno Traditional Ruling Council, Barr. Diamond Akpanika described the interactive session as not only crucial but timely, especially as it bothers on the socio-economic development of the country. He however noted that the PIA was supposed to address the failures of the past, but the constitution of members of the Upstream Commission and the Midstream and Downstream Authority shows there is no goodwill on the part of the Presidency. He observed that many errors of omission and commission have been detected in the PIA, including the following:
1. That the 3% of Operating Expenditure granted to oil and gas producing communities vis-a-viz the 30% of profit oil and gas granted for exploration was unjust as non-oil and gas producing states will benefit more from the Act than the producing communities who suffer environmental degradation and pollution as a result of oil and gas production activities.
2. That the ownership structure of the new Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited should include the 9 oils producing states as shareholders to ensure accountability and transparency.
3. That the silence of the PIA on when the Federal Government will stop the petroleum subsidy regime which has for many years been a conduit pipe for corruption in the industry was not good enough.
4. That the committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari for the implementation of the PIA should be expanded to include credible persons from oil and gas communities rather the current composition with 99% of members from outside the host communities.
5. The management structure of Host Communities Development Trust Fund as well as the accounts to which the fund is to be bestowed are not comprehensively articulated in the Act.
• Chief Etukudo Ikot, Clan Head of Eket Ofong in Esit Eket Local Government Area said NOA should ensure that highlights of the PIA 2021 are printed and distributed to members of the host communities.
• Other issues raised by participants include:
What is the guarantee that the 3% would be judiciously put to use?
Comrade Ifot: What happens if the licensee companies fail to comply with their operational responsibilities under the Act? People of the affected areas are not represented in the NNPC Limited. So, who speaks on behalf of the people?
Comrade Sunny James (Nigeria Labour Congress, Akwa Ibom): What were our parliamentarians doing when the bill was being worked on? We should seize this opportunity to seek amendment of sections of the bill that is not beneficial to us.
Comrade Dominic Abang (Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Akwa Ibom State): This is one of the best bills we have in Nigeria. Akwa Ibom should start now to fight and advocate for midstream industry (gas producing industry) to come to Akwa Ibom State. How are we sure that what would be declared by IOCs would be the actual monies released as per the 3%?
More people from oil bearing companies should be included in the Commission, not outsiders.
Niger Deltans should also be shareholders of NNPC Ltd.
Urgent peace building advocacy required to prevent violence arising from the implementation of the PIA.
Remediation for gas flaring, oil spillage and other environmental hazards resulting from oil explorations in the host communities should be adequately catered for in the Act.
The two resource persons as well as the Civil Society Representative on the Board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Peter Egbule gave explanations to clarify some misconceptions observed in the submissions of participants by drawing their attention to relevant sections of the Act and shedding light on their applications and implications.
9.0 Lessons Learned included:
• Stakeholders expect NOA to mass produce and circulate the PIA to the public.
10.0 Next Steps/ Follow up Actions:
• Postmortem virtual meeting with CISLAC slated for 12 noon on Thursday, 28 October 22, 2021
i. The events were well attended, orderly and devoid of acrimony.
ii. Most of the stakeholders do not yet have the final gazette copy of the PIA.
iii. There exists a huge gap in understanding of the provisions and intendments of the Act among stakeholders and the general public.
iv. There were no media appearances before or during the engagements.
i. NOA should sustain the partnership with CISLAC with a view to replicating the stakeholders’ engagements in other Niger Delta states.
ii. NOA could seek partnership with other organizations with a view to expanding, deepening and hastening public sensitization on the PIA through mass reproduction and circulation of the PIA.
iii. Future interactive sessions on the PIA could be designed to hold at the palaces of traditional rulers of oil bearing communities for greater participation of host communities in the conversations.
iv. Future engagements on the PIA should integrate media appearances for wider public sensitization on the Act.
Participants were drawn from among traditional and community leaders, opinion leaders, oil companies, Civil Society Organizations, the media, trade unions – Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Nigeria Labour Congress.
• Copies of the two papers and some speeches presented at the event
• A copy of the programme of activity
• Some pictures from the two-day event
• Sample of pamphlet – “Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021: What You Need to Know” – distributed to participants at the interactive session.
Name of Rapporteur Date of Submission
David Ofurum (ACPO) 25 October 2021
SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THE ADVOCACY VISITS AND STAKEHOLDERS’ INTERACTIVE SESSION ON THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ACT (PIA) 2021
A cross section of participants at the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.
Rep. of NOA Director General/Rivers State Director, Barr. Young Ayotamuno (3rd left), Paramount Ruler of Eket, HRM Edidem Etim Abia (4th left), rep. of CISLAC Executive Director, Mr. Chinedu Bassey (3rd right) and other members of the NOA/CISLAC delegation during the advocacy visit to the Eket monarch on the Petroleum Industry Act on Wednesday, 20 Oct. 2021.
Rep. of NOA Director General/Rivers State Director, Barr. Young Ayotamuno (standing) addressing the Paramount Ruler of Eket, HRM Edidem Etim Abia (sitting) on the Petroleum Industry Act during the advocacy visit to the Eket monarch on Wednesday, 20 Oct. 2021.
Rep. of NOA Director General/ Rivers State Director, Barr. Young Ayotamuno (centre), Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, HRM Owong Effiong Archianga (seated), rep. of CISLAC Executive Director, Mr. Chinedu Bassey (right) and other members of the NOA/CISLAC delegation during the advocacy visit to the Ibeno monarch on the Petroleum Industry Act on Wednesday, 20 Oct. 2021.
Rep. of NOA Director General/ Rivers State Director, Barr. Young Ayotamuno (left) receives advance copy of submissions from the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, HRM Owong Effiong Archianga (seated) during the advocacy visit to the Ibeno monarch on Wednesday, 20 Oct. 2021 ahead of the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act.
Rep. of NOA Director General/ Rivers State Director, Barr. Young Ayotamuno (right) delivering the Director General’s opening remarks at the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.
CISLAC Executive Director, Mal. Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) (right) delivering his goodwill message at the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.
Representative of OXFAM Country Director, Mr. Henry Ushie (right) delivering a goodwill message at the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.
Barr. Inih Archibong (right), a private legal practitioner, presenting his paper as members of the high table listen attentively during the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.
Dr. Aniefiok Esetang (right), former NOA Akwa Ibom State Director, presenting his paper with members of the high table paying rapt attention during the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.
NOA Akwa Ibom State Director, Mr. Enoh Uyo (right) delivering a vote of thanks during the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.
Paramount Ruler of Eastern Obolo, HRM Obong Elder Harry John (left) makes his own submissions during the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021
Representative of Paramount Ruler of Ibeno/Legal Adviser Ibeno Traditional Ruling Council, Barr. Diamond Akpanika makes the monarch’s contributions during the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.
Comrade Sunny James of Nigeria Labour Congress, Akwa Ibom State Chapter (right) makes his interventions during the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.
A cross section of participants during the stakeholders’ interactive session on the Petroleum Industry Act in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021.