16 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Communities affected by the gas explosions from Escravos-Warri gas pipeline in Delta State, have issued two weeks ultimatum to the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Limited, NGPTC, a subsidiary of NNPC, to clean up their environment, provide relief materials and pay compensation to people and communities affected by the gas explosions in their communities.
The communities have also threatened to shut-down the operations of the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Limited in the state should the company fail to meet their demands within the two weeks, starting from today, Tuesday 16th January 2018.
The communities are Ikpokpo, Okpeleama, Otogbene, Atanba and Opuedebubor communities, all in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
In a communique signed by the Chairman of Ikpokpo community after a meeting of the affected communities, Mr. Godwin Akori and PRO Mr. Edward Odudu demanded a permanent solution to the incessant gas explosions in their communities to avoid a disaster.
The communiqué said all efforts to make the company to obey standard rules of operation have fruitless, and even correspondence sent to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, were not replied.
“Several efforts by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Ministry of Environment, Delta State Government and leaders of Gbaramatu Kingdom to prevail on the gas company to comply with the relevant laws and regulations to do the needful has feel on deaf eyes.
“Also several petitions to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC and Managing Director of the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company were all ignored without response.
“To this end, the affected communities and people have decided to take their destiny into their hands.
The enlarged meeting of Gbaramatu communities stated that similar arrogant and irresponsible behaviour of oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta accounts for the militant dimension to agitation.
“It is regrettable that the only language companies operating in the Niger Delta region understand is the use of force; hence we are ready to give it to them.
“Nigerians are hereby put on notice not to blame the affected communities for the effect that the shutting down of Escravos to Warri gas pipeline would have on the nation’s power sector,” the communities warned.
Speaking on the development, the President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Mr. Eric Omare, maintained that the incessant explosions on the Escravos-Warri-Lagos pipelines were not acts of sabotage.
Omare said rather the pipelines were old and worn-out due to age, but the gas company instead of carrying out a turn around rehabilitation by fixing new pipes would rather chose to repair.
He explained that even NOSDRA have attested that the explosions were not cause by sabotage but by operational failures and fault of the gas company.
It will be recall that the Escravos-Warri-Lagos Pipelines have exploded at least five times in the last six months, namely August, October, November and December 2017 as well as on 11th January 2018 leading to a collapse of the nation’s power grid.