Anambra Gov’t Warns Against Payment Of Fees For HOSTCOM Membership
The Anambra government has warned people in communities where oil exploration activities were going on to be wary of group of persons asking for money to register them into Host Communities (HOSTCOM)
Mr Anthony Ifeanya, Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources in Anambra who said this in a Statement on Thursday warned those responsible to stop forthwith.
Ifeanya said the group operated under the eagis of Host Communities of Anambra State,
Coordinators of Oil Producing Communities in Anambra State.
He said the group was on statewide campaign purportedly registering communities and local governments into committees and subcommittees for the purpose of collection and or payment of three percent from oil companies.
“By this announcement, the Anambra government warns any person or persons entering into any Local Government Area or community to be guided accordingly.
“Government will not listen to any person or groups that will come to it with any claim of extortion or embezzlement from any person or persons as we are not aware of the ongoing collection of money and registration of names in the State,” he stated.
Ifeanya said though, there was freedom of association under the Constitution, persons or groups forming such Association should be clear about their aims, objectives and position of the law.
He said the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) guaranteed the rights of Host Communities from the Oil Companies operating within such communities.
He said under the PIA, host
communities are those towns on whose soil or land the oil companies
are operating their business and not the entire state
He listed communities that qualified for HOSTCOM as Enugwu-Otu Aguleri, Eziagulu Otu and Mkpunando Aguleri Communities in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State where Orient Petroleum Resources was operating.
“Other towns were Ogwuikpele and Ogwuaniocha in Ogbaru where Sterling Energy and Oil Production Company is 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,” he stated.