SPDC: Group seeks government intervention

The Association of Occupational Safety and Security Professionals of Nigeria (AOSSPN), has appealed to the Bayelsa State Government to wade into crisis brewing between some oil producing communities and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

This was contained in a press statement issued in Yenagoa on Tuesday by the Chairman of the Association, Mr Kelvin Talbort.

He said: “SPDC, is requesting for the Gazette containing all newly recognized and existing communities from Bayelsa State Government for legal identification.

“Unfortunately while seeking for the Gazette from the state government, SPDC has been negotiating silently with some existing communities within the clusters for a proposed general memorandum of understanding, without the Gazette from the government.

“There is a rising concern within oil producing communities, as serious tension, building unstable friendliness, unsafe conditions unsafe acts between newly recognized oil producing landlord’s communities and existing communities.

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“We worry over the state of project quality and the vast un-awarded contracts, youth and women empowerment schemes that have not been implemented across the development cluster boards.

“The absence of oil-producing compounds and families during the process of negotiations, in Port- Harcourt, on May 9, 2019,” the statement reads.

The Chairman said community participation was a fundamental human right, and that they strongly condemn the three per community nominations from Traditional Rulers, around the state.

He lamented that the NAOC is undergoing a similar GMOU process without community participation.

Talbort, said GMOU negotiations should not be a man or three man affairs, but that negotiation should be subjected to various town hall meetings to enable youths and women participate, Civil Society Organization, Professional and Associational interpretation of term and conditions.

He urged the traditional rulers to shun greed and sentiments and embrace a sustainable approach towards the GMOU process.

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According to him “We want a peaceful and secured Bayelsa, and wish to eliminate any threat that may birth communal crisis between newly recognized and existing communities, or protest from landlord families that may result to shut down of operation, vandalization of facilities.

“We also advise operators to include the oil producing families during negotiations, relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, for proper classification updates.

“The current situation between oil producing communities and SPDC is alarming that calls for immediate intervention for a proper close out.

“For this reason, we call on the Bayelsa State Government for the quick release of gazette containing all newly recognized and existing oil producing communities as demanded by SPDC,” he said.

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