Port Harcourt — Host communities of Oil Mining Lease, OML, 42, operated by NPDC/Neconde joint venture, JV, in Warri, Delta State, have threatened to shutdown operations of the oil firms, should they fail to convene the Field Memorandum of Understanding with them within 14 days.
The communities, speaking under the auspices of OML42 Host Communities Forum, said the ultimatum had become imperative following the refusal of the companies to honour several peaceful entreaties and letters sent to them by the community since April 2021.
A statement signed on behalf of the Forum in Warri South West and Warri South Local Government Areas by Chief Samson Oyimi, Mr Shadrack Otuaro and Mr Billy Ekele, said OML42 host communities is made up of Odidi I, Odidi II, Egwa I, Egwa II, Batan and Jones Creek oil and gas fields.
The community also appealed to the Chief of Army Staff to call his men to order, and not to intimidate members of OML42 host communities, when they agitate for their rights against negligence and marginalization by the oil companies.
Among other demands, the communities are requesting the company to employ members of the community into managerial positions and also pay scholarship arrears awarded to members of the community.
The statement reads in part, “Convene the Field Memorandum of Understanding with the OML42 host communities, which their management has refused to commence from 2020 till date.
“Address the issue of contracts award to OML42 host communities. Since inception of NPDC/Neconde, no developmental projects have been executed in the OML 42 host communities.
Pay arrears of scholarship awarded to OML 42 host communities’ students in post primary schools and tertiary institutions. Establish skill acquisition centers in the OML 42 host communities.
“Employ managerial staff from OML 42 host communities into the management of NPDC /Neconde JV
“Pay contractors high profile debts from 2017 to 2021. Pay outstanding FTOs MOUs, O&M and other financial entitlements due OML 42 host communities.”
The community maintained that failure to address the issues itemized above within 14 days, they will complety shutdown operations of OML 42 fields.
“Furthermore, we call on the Chief of Army Staff to call his men to order while the OML 42 host communities are agitating for their legitimate right in order not to intimidate the members of the host communities.
“We wish to remind the law enforcement agencies and government authorities, in view of our previous protest letters written to various concerned authorities for intervention, notably the Nigerian Army 3rd Battalion Effurun; Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas; Commissioner of Police, DSS, etc. all proved abortive.”