*Bayelsa govt intervenes with temporary measures
Port Harcourt — The Bayelsa State Government has intervened in the faceoff over power supply, between the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited and its host community, Otuasega in Ogbia Local Government Area of the State.
This is as the Dutch multinational had failed on its promise to provide electricity to its host community, Otuasega by December 14, 2021.
SPDC had in September 2021, set Dec. 14, 2021, as target to commence power supply from the SPDC Kolo Creek Oil and Gas Manifold to cluster communities in the area.
But failure of the oil firm to meet the deadline, led Otuasega community to shut down activities at SPDC’s facilities in the area, in protest over delays in providing power to them.
As a result, the Bayelsa State Government has directed the Managing Director of the State Electricity Company, Mr Olice Kemenanabo, to immediately connect Otuasega community to the national grid.
Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, during an emergency meeting with leaders of Otuasega community and SPDC representatives, said connecting the community to national grid was just a temporary measure.
Ewhrudjakpo, explained that the decision to hook up Otuasega to the national grid had become inevitable following the failure of SPDC to meet the target date.
He assured that efforts would be intensified to power the community from the SPDC manifold in the first quarter of 2022.
“Meetings will be regularly held with SPDC until the power supply issue in the area is laid to rest. We are not happy that the project could not be delivered as earlier agreed.
“However, we appealed to the people of Otuasega to be patient and remain law-abiding to enable the government take practical steps towards ending the protracted blackout in their community.”
Earlier, the CDC Chairman of Otuasega Community, Mr. Raniyar Marcus, expressed disappointment with the SPDC for reneging on its promise to deliver the job by the December 14, 2021 deadline.
Marcus noted that the December 21 non-violent protest that led to the shutting down of the SPDC manifold was staged by the community to register their anger, stressing that SPDC had always taken the Otuasega people for granted.
Meanwhile, the Community Relations Manager, SPDC (East), Mr. Evans Krukrubo, explained that the company was not happy that the power project was not delivered according on schedule.
Krukrubo, however, assured the Bayelsa State Government and the host community that SPDC was committed to working with the state government to deliver on the project by the end February 2022.