Tai Ready For Oil Exploration, Monarch Tells Shell
18 Aug 2017
A Paramount Ruler in Tai Local Government Area, Rivers State, Mene Tuatua, Tai Kpite, Samuel Nnee has declared that Tai people were ready for oil exploration by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria and its Joint Venture partners.
Nnee made the declaration in Port Harcourt during a one-day stakeholders’ engagement organised by SPDC-JV for host communities in Tai as part of strategies to find lasting solution to the scourge of sabotage of oil facilities and illegal bunkering.
The traditional ruler noted that Tai’s economy was booming when Shell was operating in the area, but regretted that since the company withdrew its operations following agitations and stiff opposition, the area has been desolate while crime rate has increased because of the army of jobless youth.
According to him, “Those making agitations that Shell should not resume exploration and production in the area don’t have any oil while some Ogoni people are using the opportunity for their personal aggrandizement,” adding that, “The time has come when people should stop using Ogoni oil for the purpose of their personal economic gain.”
He further stated that even though SPDC was stopped from operating in the area since the early 1990s, its pipeline still cuts across Ogoni and carries crude from other areas to Bonny, and urged to sheathe their sword and come together to allow SPDC start operation in the area to rejuvenate Ogoni economy and create more employment opportunities for the people.
The Mene Tuatua Tai challenged SPDC to enlist locals in its pipeline surveillance management to tame pipeline vandalism, illegal oil refining and related activities.
Also speaking, the Sector 3 Commander, Operations Delta Safe (OPDS), Col Fadairo Ayobami Oluremi urged host communities to advise their youth against pipeline vandalism, illegal oil refining and other related activities, warning that the command would no longer fold its arm and watch critical national assets decimated in the region.
Represented by Captain Afam Chidi, the commander said that drastic measures were being taken to ensure that whoever was caught is prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Rivers State, Dr Emmanuel Urang, said the government was no longer business as a result of the recession, and called for synergy to make the state investors’ haven as government was doing everything possible to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Represented by the Director, Pollution Inspectorate, Ministry of Environment, Dr Charles George, Urang said that the presence of HYPREP in Ogoni has given hope that the best parameters would be used to bring about environmental sustainability for the benefit of all stakeholders.
On his part, the Shell General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli said that SPDC-JV was willing and ready to partner with relevant stakeholders and host communities to ensure friendly and conducive environment for business, promising that the company would not shirk on its corporate social responsibilities.
The Head Shell Pipeline Right of Way (RoW), Mr Sekobe Afohron said all stakeholders have a stake in the prosperity of the business, saying that pipeline vandalism and sabotage were twin evils that must be crushed through partnership and collaboration.