OML 49: Gov Okowa Resolves NPDC, Ubogo Community’s Lingering Crisis

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa

By Eseoghene Emuke

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has resolved the lingering crisis between the management of the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and Ubogo community in Udu Local Government Area of the state.

With the resolution, NPDC will now begin oil exploration activities and migrate from Oil Mining Licence 65 to OML 49 situated in the community.

The governor, who, however, warned host communities from shutting down oil facilities in their domain whenever disagreement arise, commended both parties for accepting to embrace peace.

Okowa was represented by the State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emman Amgbaduba at the peace meeting with representatives of the oil firm and the Udu community at the Government House Annex, Warri.

He said the state is always at the loosing end whenever oil and gas facilities are halted during disagreement as the revenue accruing to the state falls.

While commending NPDC and Ubogo community for agreeing to resolve the crisis that had temporarily halted the company’s operation in the area, he enjoined both parties to embrace Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in resolving the crisis.

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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.

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He said, “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 IGR and revenue that will be 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).

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“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 carries on with their operations while we seek alternative means to resolve this dispute” he added

Earlier, the representatives of Ubogo community blamed the disagreement on NPDC, alleging that NPDC management had refused to negotiate and carry the people of the area along in their operations in the area.

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 had not benefited anything from the company.

 Larry stated, “NPDC has continued to play on our intelligence by refusing to carry out it’s obligations to the community. This is unacceptable to our people but as a peaceful and law abiding community.

“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 other strategic appointments and empowerment programmes.”

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“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 was also attended by DESOPADEC Commissioner, Chief Vincent Oyibode and Com. Emmanuel Eyakagba, Executive Assistant to the Governor on HOSTCOM.


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