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Expert Decries Lack Of Mous Among Multinationals In Onne

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Elder statesman and foremost Environmentalist, Engr. Olu Wai – Ogosu, has attributed the brewing conflicts between oil companies and their host communities in the Niger Delta to the absence of  effective regulatory policies.
Engr. Wai-Ogosu said the policies such as  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the breach of other existing  agreements signed by the companies and their host communities have been responsible for the conflicts.
The elder statesman said that despite the numerous companies operating in Onne, their was no meaningful host community engagement as no MOU was signed with the people of Onne.
Wai-Ogosu who described the practice in Onne and Niger Delta as, “corporate negligence “ called on all multinationals and corporate organisations operating in the Niger Delta to introduce a more practical community engagement model and implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) signed with their host communities.
In an interview with The Tide, yesterday in Port Harcourt, he pointed out that, “modern industry practices require that both the oil firms and the host communities operate in mutual agreement as well as synergy through a well established community engagement model that would be subject to upward reviews to suit evolving developments to avert crisis.”
He noted that oil related conflicts has been a predominant feature of the Niger Delta over the years and urged prospecting oil firms and other corporate organisations in the Niger Delta to learn from the experiences of the past to improve their host community relations by contributing meaningfully to the  development of their host communities.
The Environmental expert, said that the host communities were major stakeholders in the oil and gas business, noting that their active participation in the sector was an elixir to smooth business operation.
“It’s certain that  business activities can’t strive in an environment where their is mutual disagreement and incessant conflicts, the federal government policies in the Onne oil and gas free zone are not properly directed.
“There are fillers that Snepco, a major affiliate of Shell want to relocate from Onne over flimsy and unjustifiable excuses, this is totally unacceptable to the people of Onne.
“Global standards in oil and gas business require that host communities be given their due sense of belonging to promote peace and development, the business concern must be accommodative of the development interest of the host communities, any company that gloss over the interest of its host communities is bound to face challenges”, he said.
He cautioned against the influx of substandard oil firms in the Niger Delta and called on the federal government to enact laws that will compel multinationals to implement all agreements signed with their host communities
According to him: “Not all companies that prospect for oil in the Niger Delta has the capacity for effective business operation, some of them don’t have the industry experience and lack the potency to make the right impact.
“The implantation of the Petroleum Industry Bill will address the inherent challenges in the oil and gas sector, especially in the development of oil and gas producing communities.”

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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More Youths Engage In Artisanal Refining

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As unemployment bites harder amidst rising cost of living, more youths in rural communities in Rivers State are now going into artisanal refining business to earn a living.
The Tide reliably gathered that some youths residing in Port Harcourt City were gradually moving to rural communities for bunkering business otherwise known as ‘kpo-fire’ 
Narrating his experience to The Tide, Mr Godwin Ibeneme who resides in Rumuekini in Akpor, said he was introduced into the kpor-fire business by his father.
Ibeneme, who hails from Ibaa/ Obelle area of Emohua Local Government Area, said his father compelled him to join other youths who were thriving in the business in the community.
“My father came to my house here in Rumuekini, and told me to come to the village, that other young men are making it through kpo-fire’ bunkering since I have lost my job.
“ I didn’t waste time to give it a trial, because I had really looked for what to do, since I lost my job at a fast-food company. Since then, I can tell you that I have been taking care of myself, unlike before when everything looked hopeless”, he explained.
The Tide also learnt that the kpo-fire’ business was currently thriving in Isiokpo axis of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
A resident of the community who pleaded anonymity, told The Tide that there was a high level of discrimination in the business.
According to him, he decided to engage himself at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, to hustle for his daily bread, instead of staying idle.
The Tide recalls that the Federal Government had promised to build modular refineries in the Niger Delta region since 2019 as an alternative to illegal oil bunkering in the region as well as to create employment for the youth. 
The Tide also reports that three years after the promise was made, nothing has been done in that regard.

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Oyigbo Cassava Plant, Legacy Project   -Akawor

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Amb. Desmond Akawor, says the cassava plant project, being executed by the Rivers State Government in Oyigbo is a legacy project that will generate huge employment for Rivers people.
He said the project was well thought out and would stand the test of time to tackle unemployment as well as ensure food availability in the state.
Akawor made the remarks during an interaction with journalists at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the cassava plant which was supposed to be executed by the previous administrations, was initially planned to be a joint venture between the state government and some organisations, but that the other partners did not pay their counterpart funding.
“The steps taken by the Wike-led administration to bring this project to life without the counterpart funding is commendable, because of the huge economic benefits it will give to the state.
“Many people have also been employed at the construction sites of flyovers being executed by Julius Berger. Eighty percent of those working there are indigenes, while the company provides the expatriates”, he said.
The  PDP chairman also hinted on the plans of the state government to privatise the Buguma fish farm and banana farm, among others, so as to make them more viable.
He said that the state government had not abandoned the projects initiated by the previous administration, but was thinking on what to do with them. 
Akawor maintained that the employment of 5,000 persons into the civil service was still ongoing, saying the government is only taking time to ensure that indigenes of the state are employed.

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PH Airport Resumes Skeletal International Flight Operations

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Skeletal flight operations have resumed at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
This follows the lifting of the curfew that was imposed in the state by the Rivers State Government to check cases of insecurity in the state.
The Tide’s checks show that many of the airlines that operate international flights are yet to resume flight operations, even though the coast is clear for them to resume operations.
The Cronaux Airline, it was gathered, is the only airline at the moment that has fully resumed international flight.
Other airlines that operate at the international wing, like the Lufthansa Airline, Turkish Airline, and Ethiopian Airline are yet to resume operations. 
The Acting Head of Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Kunle Akinbode, confirmed the resumption of international flight operations at the airport, last Friday, saying the international wing is now open for international airlines to operate.
He explained that the curfew that was imposed in the state delayed the resumption of international flights operations, even when issues of Covid-19 standard protocols had been addressed.
“Now that the curfew is over and the international wing is open for flight operations, it is left for each of the airlines to work out its own schedule for operations.
“It will not be the duty of the airport management to sort things out for them and know when to resume. I know that some have started. Lufthansa has said they will resume next month, August”, Akinbode said.
The Tide reports that the international wing of the Port Harcourt Airport had been shut since the Covid-19 lockdown, and did not reopen when other international airports in Lagos, Abuja and Kano among others reopened for international operations.

Stories by Corlins Walter

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