The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) is holding Awareness Creation Workshops on the Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) aspect of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in five Niger Delta states which started on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.
The workshops will be in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo, and Rivers States. Each session will involve 100 participants drawn from the established HCDTs, key community stakeholders, and representatives of settlors/oil companies. The workshops took place in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on June 13; Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on June 20; Uyo, Akwa Ibom, on June 27; Warri and Asaba, Delta State, on July 4 and 6, respectively. The date for Ondo will be announced in due time.
The series of workshops are key components of The Bridges Project, a collaborative intervention by PIND and the Ford Foundation. It aims to educate and sensitize key community stakeholders about their roles, responsibilities, and expectations under PIA.
Capacity-building workshops were previously held between March and April 2023 and involved 52 participants from 25 non-governmental and civil society organizations across the five states – Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo, and Rivers States. The goal was to build the capacity of NGOs in the region to effectively support the HCDTs and community stakeholders in conducting needs assessments and developing comprehensive plans, as required under the provisions of the PIA.
Aside from capacity building and awareness creation, PIND will also work with the stakeholders to set up a Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) to ensure the communities’ interests are adequately protected.
The Bridges Project’s overall objective is to support and complement the regulatory proposals of the PIA while ensuring awareness, knowledge, and understanding by all participants. It aims to foster inclusivity and equity in the decision-making process amongst stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, particularly the communities affected by the petroleum industry.