Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has waded into the crisis between Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and Ubogo community in Udu Local Government Area of the state.
Okowa commended the NPDC and Ubogo community for agreeing to resolve the crisis that had temporarily halted the company’s operation and its migration from Oil Mining Licence 65 to OML 49 for oil exploration activities in the area .
Represented by the State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emman Amgbaduba, the governor charged both parties to embrace Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in resolving the crisis.
Okowa, who met with the representatives of the warring parties at the Government House Annex, Warri, yesterday enjoined them to embrace peace in the interest of development.
The governor, who had separately met with representatives of both parties before a joint meeting, said his administration is committed towards providing enabling environment for companies to operate.
Okowa, while bemoaning the rising cases of disagreement between oil firms and their host communities, pleaded with host communities against shutting down oil facilities in their domain as the action affects the revenue of the state.
He appealed that whenever there are problems, stakeholders should come together and put the issues on the table and find a proper solution to them.
According to him: “As a government, we are not pleased with the incessant dispute between Oil companies and their host communities .
“The Okowa administration is strongly concerned about the interest of all Deltans, so is the production of Oil and Gas that generates revenue for the government to deliver on her manifesto to Deltans.
“So, there must be a meeting point between the interest of the communities as well as that of operators of these facilities because when you shut down oil companies operations you are reducing the revenue accruable to the government which should have been used to carry out development activities in our communities.”
“Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is concerned about frequent crisis between Oil companies and their host communities and that’s why the state government mooted the policy of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU).
“Our ministry is ever ready to mediate between oil companies and their host communities and as such I appeal to you all to allow the company carry on their operations while we seek alternative means to resolve this dispute” he added
Earlier, the representatives of Ubogo community led by the President-General of Ubogo community, Timothy Larry, told the governor to prevail on NPDC to urgently settle issues that led to the face-off, adding that the community had not benefited anything from the company.
“We have agreed to give peace a chance because we have tremendous respect for our amiable Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa whom God has used to bring development to Udu Kingdom as well as other strategic appointments and empowerment programmes.”
“However, because of the love and respect we have for our amiable Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, we have agreed to obey the government’s appeal as a mark of respect for the Governor for his unprecedented infrastructural development in Udu Kingdom and for appointing our son Chief Vincent Oyibode as DESOPADEC Commissioner.”
On their part, Deputy Manager, Community Relations of NPDC, Noble Imabibo, while appreciating the state government’s intervention, appealed to the community to sheathe their sword assuring that both parties will work together to ensure peace and development of the area.
He noted that the company will continue to tow the part of peace with her host communities, adding that NPDC was willing to work with the State Government and its host communities by embracing the policy of GMoU in their areas of operations.
The peace meeting was also attended by DESOPADEC Commissioner, Chief Vincent Oyibode and Com. Emmanuel Eyakagba, Executive Assistant to the Governor on HOSTCOM.