By Gladys Nweke
Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State recently called on oil companies to respect the memoranda of understanding signed by the host communities to ensure peaceful coexistence and Corporation in their various areas of their operations.
He said this at the Government House in Port Harcourt during a courtesy visit by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Silva, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, and the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Osagie Okunbor.
Governor Wike also stressed that his administration would continue to develop the right environment for all the investors to operate in the State.
He said; “As the SPDC goes into Kula oilfield again, whatever they have agreed with the communities should be implemented. If they implement it, they should do their work as promised, if they don’t implement, there will be crisis. And then, they will call Government to come in.
“Ours as government is to ensure that people carry out their businesses in a very conducive environment. This is the role the Rivers State Government will always play.”
He said that the fundamental focus of the Rivers State Government is for the OML 25 to be operational and productive. He regretted that for over two years, the oil facility was shut down and nobody acted on it.
“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 altogether.”
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.”
Gov Wike noted that during the days of pipeline vandalism, Rivers State witnessed the least cases of vandalism 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?”
Wike urged the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to prevail on the FG to execute projects in Rivers State.
Also speaking, the minister of State for Petroleum, (Sylva), expressed joy that they are in the state to celebrate the return of peace to the OML 25 and the host communities.
He said; “It is a good signal and we should adapt to this. The Niger Delta has struggled for peace. We have lost a lot and more than we have gained.”
He noted that some people are causing problems for business opportunities to leave Rivers State. He said that this is the right time for all stakeholders to work for more investors in the state.