Akwa Ibom govt tasks oil firms on community development, renews MoU

Worried by the shortfall in federation account’s allocation to the state, the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has charged oil firms operating in the state to effectively implement their obligations to the host communities.

To this end, the government has inaugurated a technical committee with a charge to review the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) involving two oil firms.

The committee is expected to tinker the relevant provisions of the Uquo field operated by Frontier Oil Limited/Savannah Energy in Eket and Esit Eket host communities.

Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr John James Etim, who performed the inauguration, explained that the event was the outcome of the decision reached at the February 22 stakeholders’ meeting.

Etim charged members of the committee to “ensure a thorough work by considering the document, clause-by-clause.

“You must consider the document clause by clause and adhere strictly to the critical components of the state’s standardised template on MoU,” he said.

This, according to him, would lead to a workable agreement that is expected to enhance the existing cordial relationship between host communities and the companies.

The commissioner, therefore, encouraged them to be committed in the review process, even as he urged the companies to ensure that they provide all necessary logistics that would aid the early completion of the assignment.

While congratulating the committee members on their nominations, Etim expressed optimism that the document would be made ready for ratification by stakeholders and signed before the expiration of the current MoU in July.

Frontier Oil Limited and Savannah Energy are into a joint venture partnership, with their marginal fields in Esit Eket and Eket local government areas.

Therefore, while Frontier Oil Limited is into crude oil exploration, Savannah Energy deals with the gas component.

The 16-man Technical Committee comprised two representatives of the state government; two from Frontier Oil Limited/Savannah Energy; seven from Esit Eket and five from Eket.

 

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