Port Harcourt — The people of Egbema, in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, have expressed worries over alleged obsolete pipelines being operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, in the area.
This is in reaction to the massive oil spill which rocked Aggah community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, in October 2019, from a pipeline operated by Agip.
Leader of Egbema Voice of Freedom, Pastor Evaristus Nicholas, speaking after a meeting with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, to resolve the issues of the Joint Investigative Visit to the area, said Agip pipelines have outlived their time and need to be changed.
Nicholas commended NOSDRA for moving to resolve differences between Agip and the communities, regretting that three months after the spill, JIV has not been carried out.
He disclosed that NOSDRA has fixed tomorrow, Monday 27th January 2020 for a JIV to ascertain the cause of the spill, while wondering why Agip would move to contain the spilled crude, when a JIV was yet to be carried out.
“Egbema man cannot sabotage himself. Since the inception of these pipelines, there have not been any serious maintenance. If Agip has carried out maintenance on these pipelines, let them bring the proofs
“We are happy that NOSDRA has organised this meeting to resolve the long lasting issues between Agip and Egbema Communities over the spill that occurred since October last year and has not been handled.
“The JIV has not been carried out and we hear that Agip has already contained the spill. We feel that we are not been treated well in the issues of oil spills and JIVs.
“We have agreed for a JIV. We want the right thing thing to be done. The laws of Nigeria as regards this kind of incident should be adhered to strictly.”
Corroboratively, the President of Ogbakor Egbema, Francis Igubike, also alleged that the facilities used by NAOC in their operations have outlived their time, calling for intervention.
Igubike, also commended NOSDRA for playing a neutral role between the community and the company.
“We are here to preach peace and unity in Egbema. There has not been agreement between the community and Agip.
“If nobody has tampered with the system, this is the right time we will get a better JIV. When this thing happened that place was seriously flooded. This spill could have been as a result of equipment failure. A lot of their equipment have outlived their time and need to be changed.”