07 June 2018, Sweetcrude, Warri, Delta State — The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has called on the federal government to ensure that about 50 oil blocs and marginal fields are divested to indigenous companies in the Niger Delta when their licences expire next year.
Leader of the pro Niger Delta group, Chief Clark, flayed the alleged marginalization of the region in the development programmes of the federal government, adding that before President Muhammadu Buhari his Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu had been reduced to what he dubbed a floating Minister with his functions allegedly taken over by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC
He said indigenes of the region and state governments in the region should be considered first in the re-award of oil licences and blocs. “We are aware that about 50 oil blocs and marginal fields will expire next year 2019. These marginal fields should be divested to indigenous companies. We, therefore, demand that federal government should as matter of strategic priority approve the granting to Niger Delta indigenes and the Niger Delta state governments the right of first refusal in the renewal and award of new oil license henceforth”, he said.
Chief Clark lamented that the federal government had failed to implement most of the demands of his group which included relocation of the operational head offices of the international oil companies to the Niger Delta region.
“The 16 point agenda which we submitted to Mr President is yet to be properly addressed. Our other requests such as setting up of Joint Negotiating Team for sustainable peace, relocation of companies back to the area, allocation of oil blocs to our communities, greater participation in the industry by the appointment of our sons and daughters, setting up of modular refineries,”,