Government resolves community, oil firm’s rift

FEDERAL Government, through the Office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs Ita Enang, has resolved the dispute between Obosi in Ogba Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

Enang presented resolutions signed by stakeholders at a meeting in Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC’s) headquarters yesterday.

He said the agreement addressed issues that led to shutdown of oil and gas operations in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 61, associated wells, and Agip’s facilities.

He said the Federal Government would not allow disruption in the economy through disputes between host communities and International Oil Companies (IOCs), following violation of the Global Memoranda of Understanding (GMoU).

Enang said: “Revenue from oil and gas transactions, and the sustainable peace in Niger Delta, are strategic to implementation of government’s policies and programmes…”

The meeting, attended by representatives of Obosi, led by Eze Friday Okoro; NAOC officials, and security agencies, said the Agip should engage with ONELGA communities in 30 days to avoid further agitation or shutdown of production.

Enang said it was agreed the GMoU between Agip and ONELGA was not protective of Obosi, and as such was unjust.

The resolutions, signed by representatives of Agip, Obosi, security agencies and Enang, read: “…the NAOC should treat Obosi and other Omoku communities according to the facilities, installations and production from the particular community or cluster, and not by proxy. The present GMoU between NAOC and Omoku communities has failed to protect the interest of physical stakeholders, such as Obosi community.

“NAOC, the operator of NNPC/NAOC/OANDO joint venture, and indeed all oil companies operating in Niger Delta, should review the understanding they have with their host communities to get closer to their host communities to reduce production shutdown, with the attendant negative impact on the Nigerian economy.

“The Federal Government, through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, should develop a standard GMoU template that will be operational among IOCs in Niger Delta. This is to enthrone peace in the region and prevent insecurity, militancy, inter-communal crisis etc.”

Source: The Nation

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