21 August 2011, Sweetcrude, Umuahia – Abia State governor, Theodore Orji, has ordered security operatives who recently invaded the drilling site of Millennium Oil And Gas Company Limited (MOGC) with claims that its operation was illegal, to vacate the site.
The company runs the Oza Oil Field Joint Venture in Umunkwo, Ukwa West council of the state, but the action by security operatives had resulted in a suspension of company activities at the community.
Orji, who debunked the claims of the security agencies in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, directed that the company be given access to the drilling site to do its legitimate business.
Men of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), reportedly, had swooped on the site, prompting the governor to visit the area on July 26. At the site, the governor expressed outrage over the alleged illegal activities and thereafter, ordered investigation into the matter.
But on July 17, when the governor met with the representatives of the company and its two joint venture partners – Emerald Energy Resources Limited and Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited – in Government House, Umuahia, he announced that after investigations, MOGC was actually performing legitimate business in the state.
He pledged to give the company needed support to carry on its activities.
Orji, who expressed satisfaction that the state now hosts a fully indigenous and licensed oil drilling company, is optimistic that many benefits would accrue to the state.
He attributed the suspension to “communication gap”, remarking that the scenario has brought the company and government close for mutual benefits and progress.
Addressing the governor earlier, Andrew Uzoigwe, MOGS Chairman and leader of the delegation said: “We apologise for our seeming lapses in liaising with your office. We are totally legitimate and committed to Abia State. We solicit government support and cooperation in ensuring conducive operating environment.”