February 25, 2020

Reps threaten to sanction oil companies for shunning invitation

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Tordue Salem – Abuja

The joint House of Representatives Committee on Treaties, Protocols, and Agreements, and Petroleum Resources (Upstream), on Tuesday, threatened to take punitive measures against oil companies whose managing directors ignored their summons over agreements with host communities.

The panel also dismissed representatives of the oil companies and gave the Managing Directors of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC,) Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other oil majors one week to appear before the lawmakers over unfulfilled agreements between them and their host communities.

The joint committee is currently holding a public hearing on the “holistic review of all agreements signed by oil companies and their host communities,” especially in the Niger Delta region.

The chairman of the committee, Ossai Nicholas, Ossai (PDP-Delta), stated this while reacting to the refusal of the invited oil companies’ chiefs to appear before the committee.

The House had on December 4, 2019, mandated the committee to launch an investigation into the several unfulfilled agreements between the oil companies and their host communities.

The House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who declared the hearing open, said it was aimed at strengthening the relationship between the oil companies and their host communities with a view to returning peace and harmony to the oil-rich region.

Gbajabiamila, who was represented at the forum by the Deputy Whip of the House, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, argued that so much resources had been lost to restiveness between the oil companies and their host communities.