Mkpoikana Udoma 27 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Indigenous oil firm, Belema Oil Producing Limited, has pledged to work with its host communities. It is the operator of Oil Mining Lease, OML, 55 joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Boma Brown, also says government can only find a lasting solution to the agitation in the Niger Delta region when it addresses the problems in the region as a socio-economic issue.
He made this remark when he led a management team of the company on a visit to the Amayanabo of Kula Kingdom in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, His Royal Highness Kroma Amabibi, at his Port Harcourt residence.
“We are here to tell you that we are operating in your kingdom. The company is owned and operated by your son (Jackreich Tein) and we all should be proud of that.
“The Niger Delta agitation has always been about resource control, that we the resource owners should be allowed to operate and benefit from the resources so that we can be real partakers of the Nigerian project and pay royalty to the government,” he said during the visit.
According to him, “Agitation is a socio-economic problem and for the Nigerian state to resolve that problem we need to address it as a socio-economic issue. The people are not asking for handout, they are asking to be economic players. They really want to take their destiny and provide hope for their people.”
He, however, expressed Belema Oil’s commitment towards enhancing a cordial relationship with communities in its area of operation, adding that the relationship between the firm and Kula Kingdom would go beyond the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties.
“On that note, we need peace. If we don’t have peace in our communities no matter what we do Belema Oil itself will not be able to succeed. In a place where there is peace, development is assured. Let us forget the past and forge ahead with the future.
“Belema, which I represent may have a past but we must not dwell in the past, we must look forward to the future so that we can make a difference in our time,” he stressed.
Responding, the Amayanabo of Kula Kingdom, Dr. Kroma Amabibi, urged the management of Belema Oil to convene a meeting where all the structure of leadership of Kula Kingdom would be present for a roundtable discussion.
Amabibi, who is the Sara-Eleki XIV of Kula Kingdom also advised the oil firm not to follow the divide and rule tactics, which multinational oil companies are known for.