15 August, 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa –The people of the oil rich Oluasiri clan, a cluster of over fifty communities and villages in the Nembe local government area of Bayelsa State have expressed concern over what they described as the continued marginalization of the area by both the state and federal governments in terms of appointments and development of infrastructure.
Lamenting the fate of the clan located on the Atlantic fringe, its Spokesman, Barrister Inuiro Wills in a paper submitted to the Bayelsa State Reconciliation Committee town hall meeting for the East senatorial district held at the Ogbia Brotherhood Hall in Ogbia council area noted with regret that in spite of Oluasiri’s numerous oil and gas fields that have been producing for almost 50 years, “the development of the area has been neglected by the oil companies as well as state and federal agencies.”
According to him, “NLNG has brazenly refused to carry Oluasiri clan along, notwithstanding that we are a major host of the project. Apart from the Oluasiri/Soku Gas Supply Plant that provides over 50 per cent of the gas feedstock to the LNG Plant in Bonny, a stretch of the gas transmission system (GTS), the gas pipelines to the Bonny plant, is within Oluasiri territory” he said adding that in spite of the locals enormous sacrifice they are yet to be integrated into the former’s host community programme.”
“We have been losing out on all of NLNG’s community development, skills training, scholarships, employments, contracts and other CSR programmes,” he lamented. and pleaded with the state government to prevail on the oil major to carry the clan along in the scheme of things.
Barrister Wills noted with sadness that the oil and rich kingdom cannot boast of any political appointees and representation in the current dispensation.
Though he said Governor Timipre Sylva during his visit to the coastal enclave last November had promised to construct buildings and provide basic amenities for the office and residential accommodation of the proposed Police Marine institute, staffing and commencing/taking over the operation of the Cottage Hospital built by SPDC as well as ensuring the location of a proper police station to enhance security in the area nothing tangible had been done to give the natives a sense of belonging.
The clan pleaded with the state to help put pressure on the federal government to award contract for the construction of the Oluasiri-Abua road (a short road that will link Oluasiri by land for the first time), Otuegila-Amurekeni-Emago/Kugbo-Oluasiri-Okoroba-Biokpnga/Agrisaba road which design had been with Shell Petroleum Development Company and the Federal Ministry of Works over the years.