Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Less than 24 hours after Aiteo Oil and Gas Company announced the re-opening of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) it has shut it down again due to leaks says Ndiana Matthew, Aiteo’s spokesman.
The shut-down is coming on the heels of protest by angry women and youths of Nembe community alleging oppression, neglect and marginalisation by the company.
According to Matthew, the company had to order the shut-down after “two new leaks points were reported along the line near Awoba Riser Manifold.”
“Our emergency response process was immediately activated, and containment boom deployed to limit oil spread on bodies of water whilst efforts to identify the cause of incident/repair have been initiated.
Consequently, all injectors have been advised in accordance with NCTL shutdown procedure to shut-in production into the NCTL immediately,” he said.
A spokesman for the Nembe Council of Chiefs, Chief Nengi James-Oriworio said they would not allow the company to operate until all their demands were met.
“We want the resumption of work on the integrated power project be put on hold. We are suffering because we don’t have power supply as a host community to IOC. We lack basic amenities. So, we demand a hospital to be built and employment as permanent staff for our people, not casual staff.”
In reaction to the protest, Aiteo which dismissed the allegation of oppression and neglect said the company had remained true to the development of the host community.
Matthew who explained that it takes several layers of engagement to get key deliverables to the community as the asset is operated under a joint venture with NNPC which means key decisions must be made upon due consultation with all stakeholders appealed “to our host communities, our partners in development, to patiently await the final outcome of ongoing processes initiated to implement sustainable development for all parties.”
“Aiteo reiterates her commitment to continuing to work with her host communities to achieve an amicable relationship. Moreover, the Nembe community provides most of the supply, logistics and security contracts going into our local operations. Apart from encouraging community participation in this manner, the company has, in addition, continued to provide considerable amenities and services directly to the community in a most beneficial and impactful way. Hence, we remain open and are committed to constructive dialogue for the development of both the nation and the community,” the spokesman said.