Communites Plead With Bayelsa Govt To Ask Oil Companies To Fulfil Obligations

oil-spill-hit-Bayelsa-620x330Communities hosting operations of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) at Biseni, Bayelsa, have appealed to the State Government to ask the company to fulfil its obligations to the people.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the communities had shut five oil wells in Idu Oil Fields operated by Agip over Agip’s non-fulfilment of community development obligations to its host communities.

The oil wells 3, 6, 8, 11 and 12 earlier shut down and put out of production by youths of the area were re-opened after a meeting between community representatives and Agip officials on Aug. 5.

Chief Solomon Ogiama, Secretary of Egbebiri II community, told NAN on Sunday that officials of NAOC, who had pledged prompt implementation of agreements reached before the oil wells were reopened, had reneged on the promise.

“We are appealing to the Bayelsa Government to wade into this and ensure that we do not have to resort to disrupting oil production, which has a direct bearing on revenues accruable to the state.

“Agip officials pledged to immediately pay off all outstanding debts to surveillance contractors once the wells were re-opened, but nothing has happened.

“From the time frames they gave us during the meeting at their Port Harcourt office, they ought to have done a lot as we were assured that in just a few days they will pay contractors who were owed for up to one year.

“The community leadership conveyed the resolutions at the meeting to the entire community and now all eyes are on us and the pressure is mounting on us.

“We want the government to come in and further mediate”, Ogiama said.

The scribe said that the intervention of the state government was necessary to forestall revenue loss if the oil wells were shut again.

He said that the community had communicated the development to the government.

Ogiama said the community resolved to give peace a chance to show its readiness to provide a peaceful environment to the oil firm to operate.

In an e-mail response to NAN on the development, Mr Filipo Cotalini, Media Relations Office Manager at Eni, which operates in Nigeria as NAOC, had said the Italian energy firm was investigating the incident.

Cotalini said the firm would issue a statement on the matter in due course. (NAN)

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