Stakeholders of the various host communities of Total Exploration Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) in Rivers State have expressed satisfaction over the signing of the newly renegotiated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Port Harcourt, recently.
Speaking during the (MoU) signing ceremony held at Sasun Hotel in Port Harcourt, the representative of Rebisi Kingdom, Eze Chris Nwonodi said the signing of the renegotiated MoU was an indication of a more robust relationship between Total and its host communities.
Eze Nwonodi, who is also the secretary, Port Harcourt Council of Chiefs and Elders, said the host communities were looking up to the successful implementation of the MoU.
The representative of Olo Community, Chief Anthony Wonah who spoke at the event, commended Total for its corporate policy on sustainable development of its host communities.
He said,“Total has given our children access to free education through the award of post Primary, Secondary and post graduate scholarships, our youths and women have become established entrepreneurs in diverse trades and vocations through the TEPNG’s skills acquisition programmes.
In his remark, the Eze Ekpeye Logbo, Eze RobinsonO. Robinson described Total as the company with the best community relations policy in the state.
He urged Total to be committed in the implementation of the new MoU.
In his keynote address, the Deputy Managing Director of TEPNG, Port Harcourt District, Mr Francois Lecocq described the new MoU, as a product of thorough engagements and negotiations which had led to the mutually acceptable agreement that will form the basis of the company’s relationship with its host communities in the next five years.
He said the company was committed to touching the lives of its host communities, regardless of the challenges which the country is facing today.
He said the company was poised to implement its new compliancerequired to ensure transparency in the nomination and execution of projects in the MoU process.
Also speaking, the General Field Operations Onshore of Total, Dr Abdullah Inuwa thanked the MoU stakeholders for their support and assured the commitment of TEPNG to the smooth implementation of the MoU.
The MoU host communities, include Ekpeye, Olo, Idu, Obusiukwe, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor, Etche, Owaza, Ndele and Rebisi kingdom.
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Protest: Commissioner Urges Dialogue Over PIA Implementation
Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Olorogun Vincent Oyibode, has called on the protesting host communities to Otumara Flow Station of the Shell Petroleum Development Commission (SPDC) in Warri South West Local Government Area to engage in a friendly dialogue with the multi-national oil firm over the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Oyibode, who made the call while briefing journalists on the outcome of his visit to Otumara Flow Station and the host communities, in Warri, at the weekend, urged the protesting communities of Ugborodo, Deghele and Ugboegungun not to shut down the operations of the SPDC.
According to the commissioner, “the 20,000 barrels per day SPDC facility in Otumara is of great economic importance to the Federal and Delta State Government”.
He said the state government would continue to intervene where and when necessary just as he implored the host communities and SPDC to explore the benefits of dialogue in resolving the disagreement.
Oyibode also stated that the Governor Sheriff Oborevwori-led government was determined to provide an enabling environment for international oil companies and investors in the State.
The commissioner said, “the management team, Ministry of Oil and Gas visited the protestants at the Otumara community where the Flow Station is sited.
“We held discussions with leaders who expressed their concerns. We also advised that the internal wranglings within critical stakeholders over the name for the HCDT should not lead to shutting down of Otumara Flow Station and SPDC’s operations”.
The commissioner insisted that the disagreement between the host communities to Otumara Flow Station and SPDC which has to do with setting up a Host Community Development Trust was a matter that can be resolved amicably, adding that “the Delta State Government is on top of the issue.
“We appeal to the host communities of Ugborodo, Ugboegungun, and Deghele not to shut down the operations at the Otumara Flow Station, while the negotiations continue for a win-win resolution”.
It would be recalled that the protesting communities had earlier called on the SPDC to visit the host communities in line with the PIA 2021 provisíons which empowers communities to set up a Host Community Development Trust Fund (HCDTF).
However, following an alleged illegality of the multinational against the spirit of the PIA by refusing to engage the three communities of the Otumara Flow Station in the Fund, it ignited a protest and upon the expiration of the 48- hour ultimatum gained entry into the facility with the threat of a total shutdown.
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