Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on oil companies to respect the memoranda of understanding signed with host communities to ensure peaceful and productive operations.
Speaking at the Government House Port Harcourt during a visit by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari and the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Osagie Okunbo, the governor declared that his administration will continue to develop the right environment for all investors to operate.
He said the fundamental focus of the government is for the OML 25 to be operational and productive. He regretted that for over two years, the oil facility was shutdown and nobody acted.
“I don’t know the role of the security agencies in all of this. We will meet here and agree that the people should vacate the place and let Shell resume work, but the security agencies will do something else “, he said.
He noted that Rivers State is a very peaceful State where oil companies have always been supported to carry out their legitimate activities.
“We took it on ourselves to see that Shell reconciles with the communities,” he said.
Governor Wike noted that during the days of pipeline vandalism, the state witnessed the least cases because of the security investment of the state government.
“I have always supported efforts to protect national assets in the state. Anybody can tell you that. I will continue to create the right environment for investment. If I don’t do it, how will I get funds to execute key projects.”
He urged the minister to prevail on the APC Federal Government to execute projects in Rivers State.
Sylva said the successful resolution of the OML 25 conflict is a right starting point to change the narrative in Rivers State.
He charged leaders to work to resolve all the emerging challenges to enhance development.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Kyari, said overall peace has returned to the communities. He said other aggrieved parties should present their grievances for the resolution of their concerns.
On June 22, Governor Wike kick-started the process for the re-opening of OML 25 when he initiated a meeting between Shell Petroleum Development Company, Belema Oil, host communities and security services.