The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC says a new era of sustainable peace has begun at OML-25 Flow Station in Kula Kingdom following the resolution of the oil dispute between Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and its Host Communities.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC Melo Kyari stated this while formally hoisting Flags of SPDC and Belemaoil alongside that of NNPC and the Nigerian flag signaling the resumption of oil production at the facility.
The GMD of NNPC represented by the Group General Manager of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS Musa Lawan reiterated that while SPDC remains the operator, Belemaoil would be in charge of Maintenance, Operation, Surveillance and Patrol.
He said “On behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Hon Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, NNPC-GMD, SPDC and Belemaoil, the field is now re-opened for business today with SPDC as the Operator, Belemaoil in charge of OML-25 Field Surveillance/Patrol, Operations and Maintenance Works. NNPC, Shell and Belemaoil Flags Hoisted side by side to demonstrate a new beginning of sustainable peace and the re-opening of OML-25. Re-opened this day 10th October 2019 by Mr.Musa Lawan GGM NAPIMS on behalf of the NNPC-GMD Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari”.
The Group General Manager of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS Musa Lawan also described as disheartening the level of backwardness and neglect of the Host Communities of OML-25.
Mr. Lawan said “Going round I have seen School need, a proper School has to be established. Obviously it is disheartening to see the kind of School our fellow Nigerians got here. So obviously one of the crucial things I am personally taking up as the Group General Manager of NAPIMS on behalf of the Group Managing Director of NNPC is to address that. We need to immediately have in the budget, a good funding arrangement that would come up with good Schools around here. Another thing is water, when we saw in Belema Community the kind of water the community depends on, obviously that is below standard. Imagine the Water Borne Diseases that would come up drinking that kind of water”.
In his remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs Senator Ita Enang apologized to the Host Communities of OML- 25 for the level of neglect, economic hardship and underdevelopment of the area despite 40 years of oil production in the area and the huge contribution to the wealth of the Nation.
He said it is sad and unacceptable that after 40 years of oil exploration in the area, the people still lack basic amenities such as Schools, Hospitals and Potable Water.
Mr. Ita Enang “said we have been to these communities and we have seen it ourselves. I felt touched when in the address by your leaders they are asking for a School in 2019 after 40years of producing oil for this country. I am also saddened that producing 44,000 barrels of oil per day for the past 40years through Shell that you are now asking for Hospital. I felt a lot when I scoop the water that you drink, is about 20 or 30 minutes ago, the oil from that water you drink is still on my palm which I fetched the water. On behalf of the country we apologize to you, we again apologize to you”.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs Senator Ita Enang also assured that the Federal Government would work with state governments in the Niger and the NDDC to re-direct the 2020 budget in favour oil-bearing communities in the region.
He said “I want to take your message and assure you that we will not just provide Water, we will not just provide School, we will provide complete community life for the entire Belema Community and Oil-Bearing Communities. We will work with the State Government which receive the 13% derivation, we will work with the Niger Delta Development Commission and find out what they have particularly done for this community, we will work with the Amnesty Office and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, we will redirect the budget so that the oil that produces here should take care of the people who produce the oil”.
In a brief remark, the Founder/President of Belemaoil Producing Ltd. Engr. Jack-Rich Tein Jr. assured the Host Communities of OML-25 of better life within the next one year under the new arrangement on the operation of the oil platform.
The Group General Manager of NAPIMS Mr. Musa Lawan on behalf of the NNPC-GMD Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari also performed the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Construction of 1.5 Million Litres of Potable Water and 12Km Treated Water Reticulation Projects for Oko-Ama, Belema and Offoin-Ama Host Communities of OML-25.
In a related development, the apex socio-cultural group of elder statesmen in the Niger Delta known as the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF says the OML-25 Community Engagement Approach can be replicated as a model in addressing the Niger Delta question to bring lasting peace to the region.
The leader of PANDEF and Elder Statesman Edwin Clark in his remarks at the official re-opening of the Flow Station said such model will enable the Host Communities feel the impact of oil exploration in their area.
Edwin Clark represented by a high powered delegation of PANDEF led by a former Nigerian Ambassador Godknows Igali said he will continue to work with the federal government to ensure that the OML 25 Community Engagement model is replicated to other oil-bearing communities in the region.
For his part, the Spokesman of PANDEF Anabs Sara-Igbe commended the federal Government for moving the construction of 85km Degema-Kula Expressway from the Ministry of Niger Delta to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
He particularly thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the economic enablers and opportunities he gave to an illustrious son of Kula Kingdom Engr. Jack-Rich Tein Jr. to transform the area.
The Paramount Ruler/Head of Oko-Ama and Belema Communities, HRM, King Bourdillon Allen Ekine, Oko XXVIII who doubles as the Chairman of Belema OML-25 Host Communities Traditional Rulers Council formally removed the traditional injunction stopping oil production at the OML-25 Flow Station and presented a proposal of a roadmap for the development of the Community to the federal government and NNPC.