…Urges FG to halt bidding on 57 Marginal fields
…Threatens to shut down oil activities
BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
WARRI: Itsekiri ethnic nationality has decried alleged abandonment of the multi-billion dollar Gas Revolution Industrial Park project, GRIP, in Ogidigben and the deep seaport in Warri south west local government area by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration
At a press briefing at Ode Ugborodo (Excravos), Warri south west local government area, Delta state Spokesman of Itsekiri Oil/Gas Producing communities, MDIOGPC, Mr Besidone Samuel lamented the action of the government, adding that the federal government should also halt the ongoing bidding process for the 57 marginal fields until companies owned by Itsekiri sons and daughters were given right of first refusal on the fields in Itsekiri communities.
Continuing, Mr Besidone who was flanked by prominent Itsekiri leaders at the crowded Town Hall in Excravos alleged that Itsekiri nation had been grossly marginalized in marginal field bid offers since oil was discovered in her communities sixty years ago, adding that if the government failed to halt the process Itsekiri would not hesitate to shut down all oil exploration activities across her communities
While calling on the government to direct the Ministries of Works, Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and international oil companies IOCs to carry out shore protection across Itsekiri riverine communities to protect the areas from rampaging ocean surge the Itsekiri nation further urged the government to resume work on the abandoned Omadino-Excravos road “ expected to connect the oil and gas-rich coastal communities in Warri South and Warri south-west local government “
“We the Itsekiri people continue to agonize the apparent aberration of the local content act as it affects direct employment opportunities into Chevron Nigeria Limited, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and other IOCs, operating in our communities. These companies surreptitiously employ non-indigenes and fly them to work in Excravos and other Itsekiri offshore locations while eminently qualified graduates as well as technicians road the streets and continue to live at the mercy of their indigent and ageing parents “, he said.
“We must at this juncture strongly express our displeasure and total rejection of the recently announced 57 marginal fields offered by the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR. We can no longer continue to sit down and watch non-indigenes being offered Oil Mining Licences in our homeland when we have capable Itsekiri sons and daughters whose firms are qualified but repeatedly denied such licenses by the structural bias of the DPR”, he added.
The Ologbotsere of Warri kingdom, Chief Ayiri Emami who spoke to newsmen at the sideline of the briefing said Itsekiri nation made the calls to end their marginalization, adding that the federal government and the IOCs should heed the appeals.