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Crisis looms in Bayelsa over gas project

By Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa—Work at the multi-billion naira Epu Cluster Gas Gathering project in Opokuma Kingdom, in Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, may be disrupted following an alleged disagreement between communities in the clan and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.

Indigenes of the kingdom alleged that Shell reneged on an earlier agreement reached with them bordering on the Nigerian Content Act 2010, which stipulates the reservation of certain jobs for host communities to enable them participate in the oil and gas industry.

In a petition to Bayelsa State Government, the Ibedaowei of Opokuma clan, King Opoitari Diongoli (Opu-Okun IV), on behalf of his people, urged the government to wade into the matter and called SPDC, Morpol and Daewoo to order to avert breakdown of relations between the companies and the host communities

The communities in the petition, alleged lack of transparency on the part of the companies in their dealing, poor community relations by SPDC staff, imposition of local contractors on them, imposition of community liaison officers and community relations as well as disrespect to the traditional leadership in the communities.


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