Presidential Adviser Explains Restiveness in Oil Communities

27 Nov 2012

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Mr. Akachukwu Nwankpo

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The Senior Special Adviser to the President on Technical Matters, Mr. Akachukwu Nwankpo, has explained that oil producing communities adopted destructive approach in their agitation because they derived their benefits of the oil industry from compensation.

Speaking at a recent Nigerian Content Conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nwankpo, stated that while the oil companies and  government derived their benefits from constructive investment, taxes and royalties, the communities derived their benefits from compensation that arose from destructiveness.

“The local communities have negative variables. So, they have destructive input-output mode because they got things on compensation. Compensation is something you are given when you have lost something or suffered damage. So, if you want more compensation, you needed to show evidence of more loss or more damage. If you wanted to increase your compensation, it is logical for you to increase damage. So, the communities always think of what to do to increase their damage so that their compensation will increase,” he explained.

He noted that the local communities were placed on the “corridor of destructive input-output mode.”
“My proposal is that if the oil industry wants the local community to work with it, they have to move the local community from the destructive input-output mode to the constructive output mode. This implies that the local community should go into the investment mode to enable them deploy the constructive part of their brain to help to serve the industry,” he said.

Narrating his experience in conflict resolution between the oil companies and the oil-producing communities, Nwankpo stated that there was hunger by the local environment to participate in the benefits of constructive engagement.

Nwankpo also called on the oil industry to expand the capacity of the local communities to participate in the constructive engagement with the industry.

He blamed the destructive tendencies of the local communities on the oil companies, which he accused of making the communities to derive their benefits from compensation.

“Initially, the communities break the pipelines so that oil will spill. They will say, look at my net, look at our water; you have damaged them. When the oil companies come to clean up, they will stop them so that the impact of the spill will spread, so that the communities get more compensation,” he said.

“Then, the oil companies start to protect the pipelines by putting guards. I told them that if you put guards and frustrate the capacity of the people to get benefits, they will attack the guards. So, you are changing this game from pipeline target to human target,” he added.

Tags: Business, Featured, Nigeria, Akachukwu Nwankpo, Oil Communities

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