GbaramatuVoice Exclusive: Chevron boss speaks on PIA, GMoU, others

Richard Kennedy, Chairman/MD, Chevron Nigeria

GbaramatuVoice Exclusive: Chevron boss speaks on PIA, GMoU, others

In this Exclusive Interview with GbaramatuVoice, Richard Kennedy, Chairman and Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited speaks on how the recently passed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as a regulatory framework will assist expand the fortunes of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. He equally used the opportunity provided to highlight the future of Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in the nation’s petroleum industry space.

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GbaramatuVoice: About a year ago, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Petroleum Industry Bill into law. What is your general perception about this new Act? What problem do you think it has come to solve? If given the opportunity, which part/areas of the Act would you like amended?

Kennedy: Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) believes that a good regulatory framework is key to expanding the fortunes of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. The passage and signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is a major milestone in the reform of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry geared towards attracting investment and growth. We are hopeful that the PIA will facilitate a more enabling environment that will make Nigeria more competitive for investment.

CNL recognizes the opportunity that the PIA represents, and we fully support the necessary collaboration between the regulators, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and stakeholders in the industry that will enable the success of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

GbaramatuVoice: Again, before the advent of PIA, Chevron Nigeria Limited’s community development template was praised by host communities as one of the best among the International Oil Companies operating within the Niger Delta region. Now, with PIA in place, what should host communities expect from your organization? The stipulated/constitutional 3% as provided by the PIA or will the host communities still expect corporate social responsibility?

Kennedy: CNL is proud of the success of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), a community-led multi-stakeholder participatory partnership model for community development and engagement, which we pioneered in 2005. The GMoU guiding principles of sustainability, capacity building, partnership, peace building, transparency and accountability will continue to be relevant in the way and manner that the stakeholders come together to develop the communities and in the way that CNL relates with the communities on a day-to-day basis.

As a socially responsible corporate citizen, CNL will continue to work with its partners and relevant government agencies to abide by the objectives of the Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) under the PIA, which among others, include the social and economic development of communities in our areas of operation and enhancing peaceful and harmonious co-existence between settlors and the communities.

GbaramatuVoice: How do you plan to engage the host community in their utilization of the 3% fund/proceeds as provided by PIA without brewing disaffection?

Kennedy: The relationship between licensees and host communities is well spelt out in the PIA and CNL intends to abide by the provisions governing the HCDT under the PIA, which include a grievance mechanism to resolve disputes between settlors and the communities.

CNL has always put people at the center of the energy conversation. We have learned through decades of experience that our business success in providing affordable, reliable, ever-cleaner energy is directly tied to the progress and prosperity of the people we work with and the communities where we operate. We will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders including the government, regulators, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and communities’ leaders to build lasting mutually beneficial relationships.

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