Olorogun Vincent Oyibode, the Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, urged the protesting host communities near the Otumara flow station in Warri South West Local Government Area, not to shutdown the operations of the Shell Petroleum Development Commission (SPDC), but instead engaged in a constructive dialogue between the multinational oil company and the communities concerning the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.
The Commissioner communicated this perspective during a press briefing in Warri, where he shared the outcomes of his visit to the Otumara flow station and the associated host communities. He emphasized the economic significance of the SPDC’s 20,000 barrels per day facility in Otumara for both the Federal and Delta State Governments.
He assured that the State Government would continue to mediate when required, and he urged both the host communities and SPDC to recognize the value of dialogue in addressing their disagreements.
He also underscored Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for international oil companies and investors within the state.
The Commissioner recounted that the management team of the Ministry of Oil and Gas engaged with the protestors in the Otumara community, where the flow station is situated. During these discussions, concerns were shared, and the Commissioner advised against letting internal disputes among key stakeholders, particularly regarding the Host Community Development Trust, lead to the shutdown of Otumara flow station and SPDC’s operations.
He highlighted that the on-going dispute between the host communities—Ugborodo, Ugboegungun, and Deghele—and SPDC, primarily revolving around establishing a Host Community Development Trust, is a matter that can be resolved through peaceful means. He reassured that the Delta State Government is taking an active role in addressing this issue.
The Commissioner earnestly appealed to the host communities not to halt operations at the Otumara flow station while negotiations continue, emphasizing the pursuit of a mutually beneficial resolution.
Furthermore, the Commissioner stressed Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s determination to uphold the promise of revitalizing Warri, an industrial hub, by fostering an environment conducive to attracting investments, boosting the state’s economy, and generating employment opportunities for the youth.
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