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OML 11: Host Communities Reject Sahara Energy, Demand Dialogue with NPDC

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Host communities of the Oil Mining Licence (OML) 11 in Rivers and Abia States have rejected Sahara Energy except the federal government, through Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), dialogue with them on the operatorship of the licence.

The communities under the aegis of Ogoni, Asa, Imo River OML11 Oil Producing Communities insisted that before giving the operatorship licence to Sahara energy, NPDC should meet with the host communities and discuss on how their activities can benefit the people of the area

The communities made the statements on Monday at the inauguration of Ogoni Asa Imo River OML 11 Oil Producing Communities executive, which took place at the palace of the Eze Oha I of Etitioha Owaza Oil and Gas Ground Kingdom.

“There have been agitations in this part of OML 11 when Shell’s licence was about to be renewed. We all had a meeting demanding that the federal government should not reissue the licence.

“We all agreed that the government should give the licence to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). And today, the federal government has given NPDC the licence. The communities supported NPDC but NPDC needs to have proper discussion with the communities.

“NPDC has taken over the facility but has not had talks with the communities; they are having an agreement with Sahara Energy in order to enter the place. How can NDPC not dialogue with the host communities before bringing in another company?”

“The community will not accept Sahara Energy, because they had an agreement with NPDC. So NPDC needs to come up with their plan and discuss with the communities which will tell them the interest of the communities.

“So one of the things we are going to do is to look into how the NPDC must dialogue with the communities. But firstly, we have rejected Sahara Energy totally.

“And when will the cleanup of the place kick off? These are serious issues. How are we going to get electricity? We have gas, and how are they going to build our roads? The environments are destroyed. The campaign that we are going to start in this part of OML 11 is to mobilize and sensitize our people to understand that it is all about the future.” The chairman of the communities, Chief Gani Topba, stated.

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