Port Harcourt — The people of Rumuji Community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, on Monday shut down Greenville Liquefied Natural Gas Company Ltd. in protest over alleged neglect and marginalization by the firm.
Greenville LNG Ltd. is a $500million gas liquefaction and distribution company with three gas plants in Rumuji, Rivers State, having the collective capacity to produce 2250MT of LNG per day.
The protesters who were led by the Traditional Rulers, chiefs, elders, men and youths of the community, who stormed the premises of Greenville in heavy protest stopping every activity in the company and blocking the entrance to the company.
Leader of the protest and Community Development Committee Chairman of Rumuji, Godswill Osimini, decried environmental degradation, lack of employment opportunities and absent of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU from the gas firm.
Osimini explained that the community would shutdown the company for 14 days unless their needs are addressed, adding that they need a clearly written MoU and the Environmental Impact Assessment report of the gas firm’s operation.
According to him, “We are here to tell GreenVille LNG that enough is enough. It is a peaceful demonstration. They took this land over 1550 plots on lease in 2015 and MoU is not written and no EIA report. Our people are not employed, the few boys employed from the community are underpaid.
“We have invited them for a meeting, they refused. Infact they took us to DSS. What we need now is to see the Managing Director of the company and discuss with him.
“If you come to our house and put basin outside you observe soot and we want them to show us the EIA report yet they are shying away from it.
“We want fresh negotiation with the company. This company is here because there is peace in this community. When we request for support they will say they are paying tax to the government. They have refused to support us. We will be here for 14 days until they hear us.”
Also, Rumuji Community Women Leader, Justina Okpore, said theri farmlands have been destroyed due to the operations of the gas and the gas flared by the company.
Okpore called for better treatment of the host community by Greenville LNG.
This place where the company is sited used to be our farmlands. Where we plant food crops in commercial quantity for sale, so as to train our children.
“Today, we no longer have farmlands and there is much environmental impact as are a result of their operation here. The heat from their gas flaring is causing us heat.”
Meanwhile, the management of GreenVille LNG is yet to respond to the allegations raised by her host community nor address the protesters.