Port Harcourt — Oil production activities are now set to recommenced in Oil Mining Lease, OML 25, two years after the Belema Flow Station and Gas Plant was shutdown, due to a protracted dispute between Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and the host communities.
This is as the Federal Government through the Ministry of Petroleum and the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation, NNPC, recently settled the dispute among SPDC, Belemaoil Producing Limited and the host communities, and ordered for the reopening of the oil block within ten days.
Meanwhile, there was huge jubilation on Saturday as the host communities of OML25, including women and youths have agreed to vacate the Belema flow station and gas plant for commencement of activities.
Addressing the Belema women during the reopening of OML25, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, urged them to allow flow of activities, assuring that their interest and agitations will be met with the current development
Sylva who was also a former governor of Bayelsa State, charged the people of Kula Kingdom to ensure a conducive atmosphere for investment and development in the area.
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He assured the people of the Federal Government’s supports but challenged them for unity and peace among their communities so that investors and investments could be attracted in their communities.
“We need peace because if we don’t begin to make our communities peaceful, development will not come, investors want to come here, but we must make our communities conducive for them to come, if investors do not come, there will be no employment for our youths.
“It is now our responsibilities to bring peace in our communities so that these inv storage can come and create the jobs. I must tell you that this is historic, at no time in the history of Nigeria, such an array of high level delegation visited a community related to oil industry.
“We have just come here to tell you that you are not alone, the Federal Government is with you, the President is with you, and I want members of the community and Belemaoil to know that we are with you and will support you every step of the way.
“We want to assure you that our relationship with the communities have come to stay, I want to appeal to you that we need unity in Ijaw land today. We have fought to this point, at least the Federal Government have started to look to our way, it is time for us to change strategy and bring the benefits of investments to our communities,” Sylva said.
Also, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said he was interested at ensuring peace and security to ensure that normal live returns to the communities, in order for development to thrive.
“We are happy that we have been able to find solution to the two years dispute and disagreement, we have found a solution and the solution will enable people to go back to their work, employment will be created, and social services will also be created.”
On his part, the Amanyanabo of Kula Kingdom, Dr. Koroma Eleki, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the peace deal, while awarding chieftaincy titles to Chief Timipre Sylva and Mr Melee Kyari, for their contributions in resolving the protracted dispute and bringing peace to his kingdom.
King Eleki who inducted the Minister and the GMD into the Kula Council of Chiefs, with full paraphernalia of office, awarded Sylva as Amabelebo of Kula Kingdom, and Kyari as Diepreibo I of Kula kingdom.
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