Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives has frowned at what it said is lack of commitment from oil companies operating in the Niger Delta, to the infrastructural development of the region.
This is as it resolved to amend the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act to ensure inclusion of representatives of oil companies in the board, for effective participation and enhanced remittances to the development of the region.
The House Committees on NDDC, and Local Content were therefore directed to liaise with oil firms operating in the region, and relevant government agencies to work out a framework for developmental partnership.
The resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Ntufam Eta Mbora (Cross River PDP) who harped on the need for oil firms to help the region develop critical infrastructure.
He lamented that oil producing communities in the region were over-whelmed by the refusal of oil firms to execute corporate social responsibilities commensurate with the impact of oil exploration in the region.
“There is blunt refusal of major oil ventures in the Niger Delta region, e,g. Agip, Shell Development Corportaion, Schlumberger, Samsung, Moni Pulo Petroleum Development, Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Limited, etc to partner NDDC and Niger Delta Ministry in the development of the region.
“The convenient use of helicopters and service boats by these oil ventures to their area of operations and explorations may also be responsible for the lack of commitment in the discharge of their corporate social responsibilities thereby, having less concern to develop roads linking affected communities and operational locations,” he added.
The lawmaker lamented the state of the roads in the region, most of which he said become impassable during the rains.
He however conceded that there has been some skeletal intervention by the oil firms in education, agriculture, skill acquisition and health amenities, but noted that the impassable roads make it difficult for the people to access the interventions.