We’re Always Open To Dialogue With Host Communities – Agip
Multinational oil firm, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has declared that its doors are always open for dialogue with host communities and groups.
This is as the host communities of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 17 currently being operated by Heirs Holdings Oil and Gas Limited have threatened to shut down the company’s operations if it persists in the path of neglect of its hosts and grandstanding.
NAOC, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP in Port Harcourt, however, denied media reports that it sponsored soldiers to launch an attack on some protesting youths at its OB/OB plant in Omoku, Rivers State.
The statement reads in part: “A demonstration by a small group of protesters has been illegally blocking ObOb gates for over 48 hours, putting the continuity of operations and security of personnel at risk.
“NAOC is and has always been open to dialogue with local communities, including small groups, but cannot accept acts of force such as blocking gates, or the dissemination of false claims.
“NAOC does not sponsor any military force; rather, the company is due to notify the armed forces whenever external activities put the plant and the people working in the area in a safety risk condition.”
Meanwhile, the host communities of OML 17, have decried the continued exclusion and neglect of her indigenes by Heirs Holding Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, which took over the management of OML 17 from multinational oil giant, Shell.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting in Port Harcourt, chairman of Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities (TROMPCOM), King (Dr.) Samuel Amaechi, lamented that host communities have been denied access to the economic benefits therein.
Amaechi, therefore, announced a one-month ultimatum to Heirs Holding Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited to immediately initiate engagements with its host communities and begin implementation of the demands forwarded to it through their lawyers.
This post was written by Anayo Onukwugha and was first published at leadership.ng