Nigeria Government Reopens Shell OML 25

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   …assures host communities of enhanced patronage from operators of facility

The government of Nigeria has reopened Shell Oil Mining Licence (OML) 25 shut down two years ago after aggrieved women of Belema, Offion-Ama and Ngeje host communities in Akuku-toru local government area of Rivers state occupied the facility, alleging insensitivity on the side of the operators.

Reports say the aggrieved host communities in August 2017 occupied the company on the grouse that Shell and Belema Oil, who are the operators of the OML 25 had not positively impacted the host communities with infrastructure and social amenities. They said accused them of not empowering their youths and women with jobs and skill acquisition programme sponsorships  

Minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, who officially conducted the re-opening ceremony of the facility last weekend for oil exploration and production, assured the host communities that they will not be taken for granted again, saying that their interests will henceforth be paramount in new memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other Joint Venture Partners to re-open the facility.

The managing director of NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari, who accompanied the minister, said the Corporation, on behalf of Nigerians, is desirous that the OML 25 is reopened for crude oil exploration and production. “We are here in this community to ensure that peace returns in the area, so that exploration and production of crude oil can resume in earnest,” Kyari said

Chairman of Kula Council of Chiefs, King Kroma Eleki, who was the spokesman of the host communities commended the federal government for the decision to reopen the facility, and for their intervention which will enable the host communities to benefit from the social responsibility service from their engagement of OML 25.

Other highlight of the occasion was the minister’s commissioning of an NNPC/Belema Oil Joint Venture Water project. He also laid the foundation for Kula Primary/Secondary School, Medical Centre among others, being initial palliatives from the OML 25 operators, Shell and Belema Oil.

Chibisi Ohakah

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