Port Harcourt — The Rivers State House of Assembly has summoned the principal management of the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, NDPR, appear before it, over allegations of marginalisation of its host communities.
Recall that the Rivers State House of Assembly had set up an adhoc committee to investigate the alleged marginalisation, following a petition by the host communities against the indigenous oil company.
At resumption of the public hearing on the matter, Chairman of the Adhoc Committee, Mr. Major Jack, sent back the representatives of NDPR, ordering them to tell the principal officers of the oil firm to appear before it, next week.
Jack who is a lawmaker representing Akuku-Toru State Constituency I, said the Committee will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the company live up to its corporate social responsibility and the communities are not marginalised.
He assured that the lamkers will give a fair hearing to all parties involved, including the host communities and the company, in order to bring about a lasting peace.
According to him, “The representatives of the firm are not principal officers of the company, so we are asked them to go back and ask the principal officers to come, because there are very salient questions to be asked to these principal officers.
“So we asked them to go, and come back next week for another deliberations. And we are believing that they are going to obliged us, to come and defend themselves of these petitions.
“Let us give them the benefit of doubt to come and let’s hear them out. It is a fair hearing, our aim is bring lasting peace to the community and to the company at large.”
Similarly, the Deputy Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Eddison Ehie, has called on Chiefs, women and youths of OML54 host communities, comprising of Obele, Obumeze, Oshoboko, to shun their planned shutdown of NDPR.
Ehie, who is the lawmaker representing Ahoada-East State Constituency II, appealed to the host communities to be calm and allowed the state government to handle the matter, stressing that shutting down NDPR facility would warrant to lost of revenue to the state.
He assured that Rivers State House of Assembly would do its best, to ensure that every injustices done against the host communities are addressed.
Meanwhile, during the public hearing, the President of Ukpata Youth Council, Mr Alali Livingstone, said the host communities of OML54, have suffered untold hardship following many years of neglect by the oil firm.
“I am a member of Oshoboko Community, I cannot tell how much has been paid into my community account since the inception of this company till now. We don’t even know the annual profit of NDPR.
“There has been no employment of the youths of my communities, no member of the host communities is in the managerial cadre of NDPR.
“We don’t have access to anything, our crops and farmlands are not doing well as a result of the operations of this company.”