By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
About twenty-eight (28) oil host communities in OML34, Delta State, on Thursday, issued a 5-day ultimatum to shutdown the operations of ND-Western E&P Company and NNPC E&P Limited over the companies continued negligence, failure and refusal to fulfill the mandatory obligations to the aggrieved host communities.
The notice for peaceful protest and shut down of operations was contained in a letter to the Managing Director of NNPC E&P Limited and Chief Operating Officer of ND-Western dated 1st November, 2022.
It was signed by the chairmen and president generals of the 28 host communities, which include Michael Oghenegueke, Pastor Moses Bekaren, Rufus Onokurefe, Francis Uzoh, Nuwawa Alledy, Okorodudu Solomon and 22 others.
” We are demanding for payment of outstanding penalty fines due the 28 host communities from the expired GMoU of 1st January 2016 to 31st December, 2019. Also, the payment of penalty fine of N6,250,000 representing 5% of the Project Fund for the belated payment of the 2nd tranche of 2022, recently paid in the fourth week of October, 2022, after 3 months of grace from 1st January to 30th September 2022, as provided for in the relevant GMoU documents.”
” We are demanding for payment of the accumulated scholarship arrears spanning through a period of four years, alternatively, the company should provide proof of awardees duly paid and records of those outstanding.”
According to them, ” The company has not released forms for new awards of scholarship to any of the 28 host communities and has not also awarded any scholarship in OML34 for the past three consecutive years. More so, the company has not paid the OML34 project funds to Ughevwughe, Iwhrekreka and Otor-Edo communities for the past six years.”
The communities also demanding for immediate commencement of the company’s skill acquisition programme for participants nominated by communities long ago, and commencement of training of persons nominated for the GMoU Capacity building programme