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Bayelsa community alleges violation of MoU by Shell

20 January 2014, 11:02

Yenagoa- The Ogboloma community in Yenagoa has alleged that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) violated the provisions of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with the community.

Ogboloma is part of the Gbarain/ Ekpetiama Cluster, some host communities of SPDC in the state, that signed the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with the company.

 Amos Tebepina, the Chairman, Ogboloma Community Development Committee, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that the community was being sidelined in the selection of developmental projects, which violated the MoU.

The chairman said that the development earlier expected in Ogboloma as assured in the MoU, had eluded the community.

“This community has a lot of oil wells and oil facilities, yet, we feel more of the negative impacts than the positive development.

“SPDC first came to this community as far back as 1960 to start work on the Etelebou oil field, but the company actually commenced exploration here in 1972,” he said.

 Tebepina said that the company promised to build a cottage hospital in the community in 1996, but had failed to redeem the promise.

“I was the youths’ president of this community when Shell promised to build the hospital,” he added.

According to him, the alienation of members of the community in the implementation of the said agreement might lead to crisis in the area.

'“The MoU stipulates that the communities will decide on projects they need and make them known to the drivers of the GmoU.

“However, the company had consistently excluded this community in the Gbarain/ Ekpetiama Cluster Development board, contrary to the terms of the agreement.’’

The community leader urged the management of Shell to call Gbarain/Ekpetiama Cluster Development board to order, and correct the anomaly.

In a reaction, Spokesman of SPDC, Precious Okolobo, urged the aggrieved Ogboloma community to adopt proper procedure in channeling its grievances as spelt out in the agreement.

He said “the SPDC had continued and will continue to work toward the implementation of the MoU in the area. The MoU model has provision for addressing grievances," Okolobo added.

-    NAN


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