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Okowa wades into NPDC, Delta community crisis

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[FILES] Delta State Governor, H.E Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa. Photo/Twitter/GovIfeanyiOkowa

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has waded into the crisis between the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and Ubogo community in Udu Council of the state.

The governor, while commending both parties for agreeing to resolve the impasse that temporarily halted the company’s operation and its migration from Oil Mining Licence (OML) 65 to OML 49 for oil exploration activities in the area, charged both parties to embrace the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in resolving the crisis.

Represented by the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emman Amgbaduba, the governor had met with the representatives of the feuding parties at the Government House Annex, Warri, yesterday and enjoined them to embrace peace in the interest of development.

According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, the governor, who had separately met with representatives of both aggrieved parties before the joint meeting, said, “My administration is committed to providing enabling an environment for companies to operate.

“We are, however, not comfortable with the rising cases of disagreement between oil firms and their host communities. We plead with host communities not to shut oil facilities in their domain, as the action affects the revenue of the state.

“As a result, I am appealing that whenever there is a problem, stakeholders should come together, but the issues on the table and find a proper solution to them.”

He noted that the state government was not pleased with the incessant disputes between oil companies and their host communities.

“This 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 and 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.”

Earlier, the President-General of Ubogo, Timothy Larry, had pleaded with 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, Ifeanyi Okowa, whom God has used to bring development as well as strategic appointments and empowerment programmes to Udu Kingdom.”

Deputy Manager, Community Relations of NPDC, Noble Imabibo, while appreciating the state government’s intervention, appealed to the community to sheathe its sword, assuring that both parties would work together to ensure peace and development of the area.


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