Delta warns host communities against obstruction of oil, gas operations

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan08 August 2013, Lagos – Delta State Government has advised oil host communities to desist from obstructing the operations of oil and gas companies in the state.

The state Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Omamofe Pirah, gave the advice at the town hall meeting organised by Pan Ocean Oil Corporation for its seven host communities in Amukpe.

Pirah, whose keynote address on the occasion was delivered by the Special Adviser, Godwin Omadoye, said: “The governor is happy with PAN OCEAN for toeing the path of peace by holding this town hall meeting. It means well for the host communities.”

Besides canvassing dialogue and patience as means to peaceful resolution of contentious issues and conflict management, the commissioner assured that the state government was always open to consultations on all issues.

Speaking in his personal capacity, the special adviser decried pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft with the attendant negative social and economic effect on the host communities.

Omadoye, who noted also that the state government was losing economically as a result of the act, lamented: “The host communities are also losing their lives, environment and aquatic lives.”

He urged community and opinion leaders to advise and work against pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.

In his remarks, the Pan Ocean Assistant General Manager, Special Duties and Operations, Mr. Emmanuel Omo Irabor, who represented the company’s Chairman and Managing Director, recalled the Jesse pipeline fire disaster and condemned the vice.

“It is not a responsible business. It is not right. It is not lawful. It is a very risky business,” he said.

Describing the town hall meeting as a forum for interaction between Pan Ocean and its host communities to know the challenges on both sides and deliberate on them, he explained that it was also for the company and its hosts to know themselves better.

– Kenneth Ehigiator, Vanguard

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