Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A Bayelsa-based group, the Creek Development Initiatives (CDI), has pleaded with Governor Henry Seriake Dickson to wade into the issues surrounding the handling of the Atala Oil Field for Bayelsans to benefit from it.
Coordinator of CDI, Ebikedoumene Atoukudu, in a press release, expressed displeasure with the benefits being denied Bayelsans due to the indecisive role of Bayelsa Oil Company Ltd owners of the oil field.
According to him, while the capacity of Century Oil, a stakeholder and technical partner, was not in doubt to manage the block successfully, the Bayelsa Oil Company is not doing enough to ensure that the huge capital already invested are deployed to make profits.
The group called on Governor Dickson to wade into the matter to save the state from unnecessary bickering which are unhealthy at a time it said all hands must be on deck to improve the fortunes of the state.
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The CDI also stressed that the intervention was necessary for future investments and development and to curtail the state’s age-long issues of inadequate resources.
The statement read, “Over this period, it is on record that the present management of the Bayelsa State Oil Company Ltd has taken several steps to allegedly sabotage the entire project which is in clear contradiction of Governor Seriake Dickson’s intentions and blueprint for the state.
“Firstly, there were unnecessary demands made to the technical partners. Then followed claims of lack of capacity to meet their contractual obligation; and sinister efforts to negotiate a new joint venture agreement with potential clients.
“The motive behind such efforts remains very unclear and leaves many to make their own conclusions.
“Given the huge resources already invested by Century and her partners, the company has formally intimated the Bayelsa State Oil Company of its willingness to resort to legal options if the management refuses to adhere strictly to the terms of the joint operation and farm in agreement.
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“It is imperative for the state Governor to quickly take a decisive action and arrest the situation before the potentials of the full exploration of Atala Oil Field quickly fades into oblivion, leaving stakeholders with an unwanted reality and a painful imagination of what could have been and ought to be.
“He must not shy away from the responsibility of taking that decision for the greater objective of changing the fortunes of the State and cementing his ever flourishing legacy.”
An official of the Management of the Bayelsa Oil Company, headed by Mr. Ebi Dorgu, who pleaded anonymity, said the company would respond at the right time to issues raised by the CDI.