Shell, communities set to resolve dispute over OML 25

Stakeholders, including communities of Oil Mining Licence 25 in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) have agreed on the procedures for the re-opening of the oil field.

The Memorandum of Understanding, which will be facilitated by the Rivers State Government, will be signed on July 1, 2019, and signify the final resolution of the conflict.

This was the outcome of the meeting on Thursday between the host communities of OML 25, the SPDC, service commanders and officials of the Rivers State Government on the directive of Governor Nyesom Wike.

A representative of the Governor and Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, directed the Solicitor-General of the state to draft an MoU on the premise of the resolutions reached at the meeting.

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

Danagogo outlined the four-key resolutions reached during the meeting on the re-opening of OML 25.

He said, “The SPDC should pay the agreed funds into an account. The permanent secretary, community affairs, has been mandated to ensure that the funds are transferred to the communities.

“The SPDC should be able to pay the available sum latest by Monday. Shell would pay N260m and N75m by Monday.

“The communities should, within seven days of signing the resolution, vacate the facility. Also within two weeks, Shell should pay the remaining part of N1.014bn.”

The Rivers SSG added that it was resolved that the SPDC would, therefore, obtain approval from the National Petroleum Investment Management Services to pay the money that accrued between 2009 and 2013.

He added that within two weeks of signing the resolution, the state government would set up a platform for Shell and the communities to renegotiate the Global Memorandum of Understanding.

The General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, Mr Igo Weli, said the first set of funds to the communities would be paid on Monday.

He said the outcome of the financial reconciliations would be paid within two weeks of signing the resolution.

Weli added that the SPDC, in line with the resolution of the meeting, was seeking the approval of NAPIMs for payment of funds for 2009 and 2013.

The Chairman of Akuku-Toru LGA, Rowland Sekibo, said the meeting initiated by the state governor had recorded a milestone with agreement on the funds to be paid by SPDC.

The OML 25 was shut down by some indigenes of the three communities in 2017, citing alleged neglect and non-implementation of development projects by the SPDC, which had been operating in the area for some years.

Source: Punch

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