The Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has introduced a digital platform, HostComply, to address ongoing disputes between oil and gas operators and their host communities. The platform aims to simplify regulatory compliance and oversight functions, allowing industry operators to meet regulatory requirements efficiently and cost-effectively. HostComply streamlines the reporting of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) management, a key requirement of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.
HostComply provides several benefits to operating companies and host communities, including enhanced reporting and monitoring, trust-building, and centralized data management related to community development and ESG reporting. The platform also ensures compliance with regulatory requirements, fosters trust with communities and stakeholders, and supports increased oil production and revenue.
The digital solution is designed to revolutionize Host Communities Development Trusts (HCDT) management and ESG reporting by offering transparency and eliminating human interference. It enables settlors (operators) to upload registered HCDTs, track, analyze, and report on fund usage for community development, and provide business analytics for identifying trends and opportunities.
The platform benefits HCDTs by offering a consistent administrative environment for interfacing with settlors and the regulator, showcasing projects, and providing proof of the 3% operating expenditure (Opex) to be paid by settlors. For the regulator, HostComply allows real-time monitoring of projects, issuance of demand notices, and verification of Opex contributions.
The platform also offers civil society organizations and the public a framework for monitoring accountability in Opex management and public education, oversight, and feedback. Failure to comply with regulatory requirements can result in sanctions, including license revocation.
Once fully deployed, HostComply will have additional capabilities, including enabling approvals and account verification, monitoring fund management, and serving as a platform for complaints and petitions. The NUPRC is committed to fostering stronger relationships between operators, host communities, and regulators, ultimately benefiting all stakeholders in the petroleum industry.
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