SHELL SEEKS PEACE WITH HOST COMMUNITIES OVER OML 25 PROTEST

SHELL SEEKS PEACE WITH HOST COMMUNITIES OVER OML 25 PROTEST

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has urged the protesting residents of its host communities to cooperate with the company and settle all disputes amicably for operations to resume safely.

The communities comprise Belema, Offoin-Ama and Ngeje in Kula Kingdom, Akuku-Toru Local Government of River State.

SPDC spokesmen, Michael Adande, regarded Tuesday’s protest by Oil Mining Lease (OML) 25 as nothing to write home about.

He said: “SPDC hopes for peaceful resolution of all issues to enable us resume safe operations of our Belema oil and gas facility. The country’s economy has been denied needed revenue these past two years that our facility has been shut down and illegally occupied by invaders.

“We ask stakeholders to give the government mediation process the needed chance for a peaceful resolution.”

Shell’s platform has been occupied since 2017 by the inhabitants of the host communities, who are mostly women, in an accusation that the oil firm neglected them, therefore requesting that the indigenous Belema oil firm should be allowed to operate the OML-25 for peace to reign in the coastal communities.

The host communities have now come to term with the company on the re-opening of the oil facility on an agreement that both parties will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on July 1. The MoU will be facilitated by the Rivers State government on their respective responsibilities in the final resolution of the conflict.

This was the outcome of yesterday’s meeting between stakeholder communities of OML 25, SPDC, Service Commanders and officials of the Rivers State government, on the directive of Governor Nyesom Wike.

Representative of the governor and Secretary to the State Government, Tammy Danagogo, directed the Solicitor-General to draft a MoU on the premise of the resolutions reached at the meeting. He said the MoU would be signed on July 1.

According to Danagogo, among the key resolutions reached during the meeting include the following.

-  The agreed amount of money should be paid by Shell into an account. The responsibility of ensuring the funds are transferred to the communities was given to the Parmanent Secretary, Community Affairs.

-  SPDC should be able to pay the available sum latest by Monday. Shell would pay N260 million and N75 million by Monday.

- The communities should, within seven days of signing the resolution, vacate the facility. Also, within two weeks, Shell should pay the remaining part of N1.014 billion.

THE NATION