02 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt- The people of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area in Rivers State have threatened a shutdown of oil operations in the area if the Federal and State governments fail to come up with a blueprint in 30 days, to turn the area to a mega city.
They also want oil companies operating in the area to relocate their headquarters to the local government area, also known as ONELGA, and for Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC – one of the oil companies operating in the area – to site its proposed $15 billion refinery in Omoku, the capital of the local government council.
These were the highpoint of a world press conference organised by the ONELGA Stakeholders Forum in Omoku, on issues about improving the status of the area.
The stakeholders made up of traditional rulers, community chiefs, elders, community development chairmen, youth leaders and women, wondered why the local government area would remain undeveloped despite years of oil exploration and contribution to the economy of the country.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of ONELGA Host Communities Stakeholders Forum, Mr. Ekperi Nelson, frowned at the activities of multinational oil companies operating in the area without commensurate level of development to the people.
“We request that both the state and federal governments of Nigeria should produce a blue print to develop ONELGA as a mega oil city.
“This should be made operational within one month from the date of this conference. The Minister of Niger Delta and NDDC (the Niger Delta Development Commission) should collaborate with the federal government in actualising this project as a matter of necessity.
“We demand immediate dualisation of Ahoada-Omoku-Ebocha-Egbema Road and we insist that only Julius Berger Construction Company shall be accepted for this project.
“We also demand that NAOC should site its proposed refinery in ONELGA,” he said.
The ONELGA Stakeholders Forum also lamented that the main source of livelihood of the people has been devastated by the activities of oil and gas companies.
“Our natural sources of drinking water have been polluted due to continuous gas flaring and oil spillage. Our people have been suffering from environmental pollution and degradation due to the activities of oil multinationals in the area,” he added.