The people of Eastern
Obolo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State, have vowed to frustrate operations of oil companies operating in their area, unless urgent steps are taken by the managements of the oil firms to address issues of neglect and marginalisation against them.
They alleged that despite the huge resources exploited from the area, there was no meaningful project to point to as adding values to the lives of the natives of the area.
Chairman, Eastern Obolo Traditional Rulers’ Council, His Royal Highness Job Job told newsmen Thursday that Eastern Obolo is the highest producer of crude oil in Akwa Ibom State and is hosting a good number of the major multinational oil companies.
Some of the oil firms mentioned were Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), ExxonMobil, Total E and P, Conoil Nigeria Limited, and Amni International Petroleum Development Company.
He alleged that, “since the creation of Eastern Obolo in 1996, not even a kilometer of road has been constructed by the state government.
“The eight-kilometre Okroroete-Elile-Amadaka-Kampa Road had been a subject of campaign promises by past administration. The road had been part of the state budget of 2012, 2013 and 2014 without implementation.
“Indeed, our hopes in the oil companies operating within Eastern Obolo waters have been dashed our people are simply ignored, alienated, neglected and cut off from sustainable development”, he said.
Job further alleged that out of the 4,000 oil spills in the entire Niger Delta recorded from 1956 to date, Easter Obolo alone recorded 143 oil spills with about 65 mystery spills not admitted to by the oil firms, as well as gas flaring, environmental degradation and attendant diseases.
The traditional ruler lamented that the level of marginalisation of the area is so alarming that Eastern Obolo was paid a paltry sum of N250 million by ExxonMobil for development purposes while other catchment localities like Onna got N900 million, Ibeno N1.6 billion, Eket N1.4 billion while Esit Eket got N1.08 billion.
He regretted that over 60 official correspondences had been sent to Amni International Petroleum Development Company Limited by Eastern Obolo Council of Chiefs on the grievances of the area but none had been addressed.
Job, who also stated that since the establishment of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2000, Eastern Obolo is the only core oil producing council area in the state that has not sat on the board of the commission and said for peace to reign in the area, an indigene of the area should be appointed as the Managing Director of NDDC.
The people also demanded construction of access roads to the LGA, delineation of Eastern Obolo State Constituency, establishment of marine police unit to check sea pirates activities in their territorial water.
Other conditions demanded were signing of a MoU with ExxonMobil .
Oil Marketers Urge Buhari To Crash Diesel Price
Petroleum marketers under the platform of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) rose from their 2nd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting last week, within a plea to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make dollars available at official rate to oil marketers.
This, they said, will enable them import diesel, end petrol scarcity, and ultimately save the Nigerian economy from sinking, saying that dollar support should be available till Dangote Refinery comes on stream later in the year.
The association, among others, urged the National Assembly to immediately enact a Bill for the establishment of Energy Bank for easy transaction in petroleum products in the sector.
National President of the Association, Mr Benneth Korie, who briefed the media after the NEC meeting in Abuja, noted that the bulk of the operational challenge peppering marketers and depot owners spring from expensive diesel which hovers around N850/litre.
While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for approving a higher bridging cost payment to transporters, Korie said the operators’ challenges were far from over as oil marketers and depot owners spend about N20 million weekly on diesel to power their operations, thus eroding their profits.
The association urges the National Assembly to review the policy of taxation as it affects petroleum products supply and distribution chain.
Senate To Honour Brave Petrol Tanker Driver
The Senate has resolved to honour Ejiro Otarigho, the brave tanker driver who drove a burning tanker from danger zone to avert a tragic fire incident in Agbarho, Delta State.
The Senate has also recommended Ejiro to President Muhammadu Buhari for National Honours.
This followed a motion moved by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, and co-sponsored by Senator James Manager and Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, at plenary.
It would be recalled that in a rare act of bravery, Ejiro had last week driven a burning tanker from danger zone to avert what could have been a tragic fire incident in Agbarho, Delta State.
The incident happened last Friday when Ejiro drove the burning truck for 25 minutes from a densely populated area to Agbarho River where the tanker was completely razed in the inferno. The act was captured by onlookers and had gone viral.
Rising under Order 45 and 52 of the Senate Standing Order 2021 (as amended), Senator Omo-Agege stressed that but for Ejiro’s courage, a major fire disaster which would have claimed several lives and property could have happened in his senatorial district.
The Delta Central lawmaker noted that Ejiro’s “extraordinary display of courage, reflex application of special driving skills, and huge risk to his own life, prevented a huge national tragedy and catastrophe by driving a burning tanker loaded with inflammable petroleum products from residential areas to safety so that thousands of our people may not die in an inferno that would also have consumed so much property in Agbarho, Delta State on Friday, June 10, 2022”.
The driver’s audacious act of heroism, he stressed, has saved the nation from national tragedy and mourning.
Accordingly, the Senate resolved to “invite Mr. Ejiro Otarigho to the Chamber of the Senate for public commendation by the President of the Senate, Senator Ibrahim Lawan.
“Recommend Mr. Ejiro Otarigho to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, for a befitting National Honour as Mr. President may deem fit for his extraordinary act of bravery, courage and skill that prevented the loss of human lives and property on a massive scale”.
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, who presided over plenary, hailed the driver for risking his life to drive the burning truck out of residential area to save lives.
Court Adjourns Worker Vs NLNG Matter To Oct
The National Industrial Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Thursday, adjourned the matter on the defamation of character and unlawful termination of employment between a contract worker, Tambari Michael, and the Nigeria LNG Limited to October 25, 2022.
The judge, Justice Nelson Ogbuanya, said the adjournment was to enable the new counsel to the claimant, Mecha Mecha Kalu, to study the case before continuing.
Recall that the clamnant, Tambari Michael, a former contract staff of NLNG, had approached the court in 2019 to challenge the termination of his appointment by the Supervisor of NLNG’s Logistics, praying the court to declare the termination of his job as illegal and unlawful third party interference.
Michael in the suit number NICN/ PH/43/2019 claimed that displaying his name and image amongst persons accused to have committed criminal offensCes was defamatory, which, according to him, runs contrary to Section 4 of the NLNG Code of Conduct bordering on harassment.
Defendants in the suit are Nigeria LNG Limited, AUGJ Services Nigeria Ltd (the contracting firm) and Abimbola Ibukunle, the company’s Logistics Supervisor when the services of the claimant were terminated.
Other demands stated by the Claimant in the suit are “Damages be awarded to claimant against 1st defendant (Nigeria LNG Limited) and 3rd defendant (Mrs. Abimbola Ibikunle) for defamatory publication made.
“Damages also to be awarded against 1st and 3rd defendants for unlawful interference upon Mr Tambari Michael’s employment with AUGJ Services (2nd defendant).”
When the matter was called in the court on Thursday, counsel to the claimant, Mecha Mecha Kalu, who appeared in court for the first time, informed the court that he had just taken over the matter as counsel and solicitor to the claimant.
Speaking to newsmen after the court session, counsel to the claimant, Mecha Mecha Kalu expressed confidence that his client will get justice in the court but, counsel to the defendant declined comment.
Oil & Energy4 days ago
From Coal To Gas: How Europe Is Easing Its Energy Crisis
Oil & Energy4 days ago
NLNG Denies Involvement In Illegal Gas Exportation
Oil & Energy4 days ago
NNPC Ltd Launches Crude Theft Monitoring Applications
Opinion2 days ago
Bleak Human Development Index?
Maritime4 days ago
NPA Blames Under-Utilisation Of Eastern Port On Insecurity
Oil & Energy4 days ago
‘Seplat’s $1.28bn ExxonMobil Assets Acquisition, Contempt Of Court’
News4 days ago
RSU Takes Over Kira Campus From Kenpoly
Oil & Energy4 days ago
NCDMB Lauds TotalEnergies On Ikike’s First Oil