Niger Delta

OML-25 Occupation: SPDC hopeful of peaceful resolution — Igo Weli

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) says it hopes for a peaceful resolution of all issues to enable it resume safe operations of its (OML-25) Belema oil and gas facility.

Mr Igo Weli, SPDC General Manager, External Relations, said this on Tuesday via an email to the Nigeria News Agency by Mr Michael Adande, SPDC’s Spokesperson.

NAN reports that women from Belema, Offoin-ama and Ngeje communities hosting OML-25 had occupied the facility and shutdown operations in August 2017, for an alleged neglect and no development.

Weli debunked the allegation that SPDC neglected the development of communities in Kula kingdom and Belema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Areas of Rivers.

He urged all stakeholders to give the government-led mediation process the needed chance for a peaceful resolution.

“And to protect the health, safety and security of all concerned, including community members, SPDC staff and contractors and the facility,” he said.

The general manager said that Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd-operated Joint Venture (SPDC JV)’s commitment to the welfare of host communities in the Niger Delta remained unshaken.

“The host communities of OML-25 have continued to benefit from contract awards, employment of unskilled labour and our social investment programmes, including yearly award of regular and special scholarships to eligible candidates from the area,” he added.

According to Weli, notwithstanding that SPDC has divested its equity in OML 24, which covers most of the communities in Kula and Belema, the SPDC JV has continued to implement agreed Social Investment programmes.

“Programmes such as, scholarship and entrepreneurship schemes for the communities there, even with the divestment of its interest in OML 24, SPDC relinquished operatorship of the facilities in that field,” the general manager said.

Niger Delta

Shell takes free eyecare services to host community in Bayelsa

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Hundreds of residents of Gbarantoru in Yenagoa Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa on Wednesday received free eyecare services sponsored by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

Nigeria News Agency reports that more than 300 people have so far received consultations from eye care specialists and got prescriptions.

The eye care team comprising of Ophthalmologists and eye care support team prepared prescribed glasses and dispensed eye drops and medicines.

The eye care experts took time to educate patients awaiting treatment on ways of taking care of their eyes and how to avoid loss of vision as well as how to manage diagnosed eye problems.

Master Joel Opuike, a 13-year-old, said that he was examined by an ophthalmologist and given some drugs to take care of constant itching in his eyes, a condition that hampered his academic activities in school.

I met an eye doctor and he looked into my eyes and heard complains on the difficulties I have with seeing.

I was given some drugs that will take care of the issue and I am very happy and believe that I will be all right,” Opuike said.

Chief Aseibi Saidu said that he received eye care medications and applauded SPDC for the gesture.

Mrs Jane Ineikemi , 76,  said that she was given some eye drops and medicine to take care of her vision.

Speaking on behalf of the Gbarantoru Community, Chief Izontimi Inemotimi, Deputy Paramount Ruler, expressed appreciation to SPDC, adding that the eye care mission was of immense benefit to the people of the area.

He appealed to the oil firm to sustain the exercise and make it a periodic event as people came from far flung communities for the outreach.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)
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Niger Delta

We were duly compensated to relocate, Rivers Island residents say

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Former occupants of Robert-Kiri, Belema Industrial Island, on Monday said that they were not forced to leave their homes, but were duly compensated with ex gratia when they were relocated from the area.

Mr Lolo Dokubo told newsmen at the island in Kula, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers, that Belema Pipeline Limited pleaded with them to relocate in order to site economic and developmental projects in the area.

Dokubo said they were therefore, duly compensated beyond their expectation.

I was the biggest landlord here, I had 11 buildings and sincerely, what Belema Pipeline gave us is huge and most of us have never seen that kind of bulk money before.

We were never forced out from this place; the company reached a compensation agreement with us and did beyond what we expected.

We have been settled with enough money that we can make use of for a better tomorrow; as you can see, we are all happy,” he said.

Pastor of the Apostolic Church, Nigeria, Maritime Territory, Robert-Kiri Assembly, Mr Baribove Kuna, commended Belema Pipeline for the huge compensation to them.

Kuna stated that the company gave them money that they never thought of, and it made their relocation to the nearby island easy.

What the company gave is quite huge and can enable us meet our needs in the area we have relocated to.

I appreciate Belema Pipeline Ltd for what they gave us, because over 90 per cent of us are non-indigenes, but we were given compensation beyond our imagination that made our relocation less stressful,” he said.

While blessing the company for its magnanimity, the clergy, however, pleaded with it to help provide water and light for them in their new abode.

Other members of the community who spoke at the conference also lauded the company.

Miss Mpapameari Igbikis said that the company was sent by God to come and answer their prayers through the relocation.

This is what I will call real compensation or empowerment because what the company gave us is more than enough to tackle our challenges.

Had Belema Pipeline not come to this area, most of us would have been dead as a result of one sickness or the other, but the money has brought life to us,” she said.

Mr Iniofot Afia, on his part stated that he had lived in the island for so many years but had never seen the kind of support Belema Pipeline rendered to them.

Afia said that they were happy with how the company and chiefs of their host community were treating them.

He pleaded with Belema Pipeline to provide water for them and schools for their children to make life more meaningful for them.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that Belema Pipeline Limited had reclaimed more than 91 hectares of land around the Robert-Kiri Island to commence a Dehydrating Unit (DHU) Tank Farm.

Other projects proposed at the island include, Gas Plant, Industrial Estate, Pipe Coating Plant and Helipad.

Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/NyisomFiyigon Dore
(NAN)

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Niger Delta

Belema Oil subsidiary firm commends Buhari’s support for indigenous firms

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Belema Oil subsidiary firm commends Buhari’s support for indigenous firms

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Kula (Rivers), Dec. 9, 2019 Belema Pipeline Limited, a subsidiary of Belema Oil Producing, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s support for the growth of indigenous firms.

Mr Mufa-a Welsh, Director, Belema Oil producing, made the commendation on Monday at a news briefing held in Robert-Kiri Island, Kula, Akuku-Toru local government area of Rivers.

He said that the Buhari-led government had created the enabling environment for indigenous firms to thrive.

Welsh said that the presidential approval for an oil and gas export terminal had birthed the Dehydrating Unit Tank Farm project that would start soon.

The director listed other projects proposed to commence at the Island to include, gas plant, industrial estate, pipe coating plant and helipad.

President Buhari gave us the opportunity to launch on, and most of these projects will commence in the next few weeks.

“We appreciate the president for remembering Kula, because as a community this has never happened to us before.

“We will effectively make use of the opportunity given to us for the empowerment of the people,” he said.

Welsh stated that adequate compensation had been made to the aboriginal occupants of Robert-Kiri Island, where the projects would be located.

“I appreciate the occupants of Robert-Kiri island for agreeing to relocate so that the needed development can take place.

“You have seen ongoing land reclamation work, it will extend to the island, it may be hazardous to their health, so we pleaded with them to relocate to any nearby island,” he said.

He assured that the company would provide basic infrastructure to make life more meaningful in their current location.

“A robust plan has been put in place to ensure that the occupants of other islands around this area do not lack social amenities such as water, light and even security,” he said.

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Edited by: Azubuike Okeh/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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Environment

Shell pledges to implement NOSDRA’s directive on N2.74 remediation of spill site

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), on Friday said it was committed to remediation of sites impacted by an oil spill from its Trans Ramos export line in Bayelsa and Delta states.

Nigeria News Agency reports that oil spill which occurred on May 17, 2018 had impacted and polluted estimated area of 113.03 hectares in Aghoro and Odumodu communities in Bayelsa and Delta respectively.

A joint Investigation Visit (JIV) report of the incident obtained by NAN had concluded that the leak on the pipeline at three spots was caused by equipment failure.

The investigation showed that this discharged about 1,114 barrels of crude oil into the environment.

The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had in a post-impact assessment report obtained by NAN recommended that the ecological damages caused by the leak be remediated with N2.74 billion.

Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, Media Relations Manager, SPDC, had earlier said that the oil firm regretted the incident and assured that the firm would compensate victims as well as correct the polluted areas of the community.

Reacting to the recommendations of NOSDRA, Mr Michael Adande, Spokesman of SPDC, said the oil firm took full responsibility to correcting and renewing the polluted areas.

Adande said that the N2.74 billion recommended by NOSDRA was not to be paid to victims of the spill incident but a cost to be incurred to remediate the ecological damage caused by the leak.

He explained that the oil firm prioritised the safety of its operations.

He also said it would deploy its expertise of operating in an environmentally sustainable way to go beyond clean up of the polluted areas, but to restore and conserve them.

“The SPDC conducts a comprehensive damage assessment and enumeration exercise with active participation of other members of the JIV team, especially the impacted claimants.

“We also use geomantic map to establish the exact area of impact and extent within SPDC’s Right of Way or third party area and the degree of impact to arrive at a fair compensation value.

“In the case of the regrettable incident in Aghoro in Bayelsa and Odimodi in Delta in 2018, SPDC has paid the agreed compensation to the affected persons and communities.

“The NOSDRA Post-Impact Assessment report, however, included a N2.74 billion as ‘ecological damage assessment’ for environmental restoration and not as compensation.

“SPDC takes responsibility for clean-up, remediation and restoration,” Adande said.

NAN learnt that NOSDRA had recommended a total of N 3.68 billion as compensation while about N930 million was paid out to impacted communities.

Edited & Vetted By: Cecilia Odey/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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Niger Delta

N’Delta youth leader urges Presidency to wade into NDDC impasse

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A Niger Delta youth leader, Mr Kenedy Tonjo-West, on Monday urged the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, to intervene in the lingering leadership crisis in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Tonjo-West said the call to Kyari to intervene in the impasse between the legislators and Sen.Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, over the inauguration of the board members of NDDC was based on Kyari’s competence as an astute administrator.

Nigeria News Agency reports that newly appointed board of the commission is awaiting inauguration, while Akpabio has appointed an Interim Management Committee to probe NDDC’s finances and run the commission for six months.

The National Assembly had said it would not have any dealing with the committee during the 2020 budget defence sessions, saying there was no provision for the committee in the NDDC Act.

Tonjo-West, a former Senior Special Assistant to Bayelsa Governor on Niger Delta Youth Matters, told NAN in Yenagoa on Monday that the impasse was an impediment to the commission’s progress.

He said that the impasse might affect NDDC’s appropriation for the 2020 fiscal year, if steps were not taken to resolve it.

According to him, if appropriation is affected, it will have dire consequences for development in the region.

The youth leader further said that Niger Delta youths were getting more aware of their roles and responsibilities in shaping their future.

He said that youths of the region saw crisis in NDDC as ”an ill wind that does no good to the region.”

“We have watched carefully the proactive and objective disposition of the Chief of Staff to the President in handling issues that have to do with the presidency and members of its cabinet, especially when they concern policie, and reforms of government and the citizens.

“This is the first time the president is delegating his powers to the minister for the purpose of creating a healthy relationship between the people and their own vis-à-vis development of the region.

“We commend the Senate leadership for standing their ground in ensuring that the right thing be done, which is to allow the board to commence work.

“The way the youth leaders are feeling about the crisis suggests to me that trouble is looming should our plans to urge Kyari to persuade the president to prevail on the minister to do the needful fails.

“The patience of the youths, who are eager to see the development plan of the Federal Government materialise in concrete ways is running out.

“The earlier the board comes on stream to settle the plethora of issues that have been left unattended to, the better for our safety and peace.

“We appreciate the minister’s efforts in looking into the records and the finances of NDDC, we are totally in support of the audit to ensure probity and accountability of public funds.

“However, we feel that delaying the inauguration of the board and denying them the space to work or delaying the recognition is certainly a drawback to our overall progress.

“Inauguration of the board remains the wish, aspiration and views of the people of Niger Delta as the selection process for membership was democratic and representative of the entire region,” Tonjo-West said.

He further said that the president consulted widely and met with Niger Delta governors before the board was constituted.

He therefore urged stakeholders to close ranks and give the board the support to succeed in driving development in the region.

(Edited & Vetted By: Buhari Bolaji/Sam Oditah)
(NAN)

 

 

 

 

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