Jumbo Youth Devt Union of Bonny Supports Amendment of NLNG Act

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By Bennett Oghifo

The Jumbo Youth Development and Enlightenment Union of Bonny, Rivers State has said it supports the National Assembly’s resolve to amend the NLNG and NDDC Act to ensure the company makes statutory financial contribution to the commission.

“For emphasis, we and most other indigenes of the Oil Communities in Niger Delta support the National Assembly’s resolve to amend both the NLNG and NDDC Enabling Acts to compel the NLNG, other power generating and processing companies pay 3% of their total annual budget into NDDC’s Funding Provision, the union said this in a statement, yesterday, signed by its Secretary, Prince Jovan Jumbo.

They described as untrue, the contents of an article published recently in a national newspaper on the proposed amendment, saying it was within the mandate of the National Assembly to review the Act.

The Union said, “We are rebutting his misinformation for the singular fact that we do not want unsuspecting members of the National Assembly, the public to be coerced, deceived and or fed with half-truths.”

The statement said they did not intend to join issues with any individual or organisation as it concerns the review of the NLNG Act since it was purely within the purview of the NASS.

However, they said it was important to set the record straight, “as weighted stakeholder, being youths from the Jumbo Major House of Bonny, the largest of all Bonny Houses, who are one of the landlords to the SPDC on the 1354 contiguous Bonny Oil Terminal Land and by extension, part-landlords to the NLNG and as a non-governmental organization with the mandate to enlighten, educate and sensitize the public, as well as proffer workable solutions to issues of development.”

According to them, “even the Jumbo Major House of Bonny which is one of the two landlords to the Bonny Light Oil Terminal, part of whose land was later ceded to NLNG, has never benefitted from the NLNG in any way. That Bonny Community, despite its contribution to the economic sustenance of the Nigerian nation since 1958, is one of the most marginalised communities in the Niger Delta, as we are merely existing by the mercies of God.”

Bonny Island, they said was threatened by “sea level rise and subsidence as more than a third of Bonny land is already gone. 

That the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) entered into a jaundiced Global Memorandum of Understanding with part of Bonny Community in the year 2000 but most of the provisions of the said GMOU was not honoured by the NLNG. Notable Bonny elites enlisted the services of attorneys to query NLNG’s miscarriage of that portfolio and put them to the strictest test.

“That contrary to its orchestrated  claim, the NLNG has not spent any $200m on providing roads, water, electricity, schools and scholarships for the local communities in Bonny. Rather, the little incentives being enjoyed by the Bonny community is being funded by the Joint Industry Company (JIC) comprising of NLNG, SPDC, Exxon-MOBIL, etc. We hereby call for the probe of the $200m by NAPPIMS and NNPC as that documented assertion smacks of corruption and over-invoicing.”

They said, “Except the road connecting Mission Road to Hospital Road in Bonny, and the now dilapidated Water Well Road, there is no other road constructed by the JIC in Bonny. Even the road leading from Bonny Main Town to Finima where the NLNG is situated, is looking like a road in a 17th Century hamlet.

“That the electricity which the natives are paying for and the water which only runs for about an hour daily, is only restricted to the Bonny Main Town, as there is no other village, fishing ports and /or settlements  within Bonny enjoying such amenities. Not even Wells 3-12 or any of the 20 Jumbo Communities and Fishing Ports.

“That we challenge the NLNG to publish names of Bonny students that have benefitted from their scholarship programs and the schools it has built or supported in Bonny LGA.

“That the NLNG had not committed any ₦3b annually for 25 years for the development of the kingdom. It is  on record that  when certain patriotic indigenes of Bonny started writing to the NLNG  asking why the 2000 MOU was yet to be implemented, the JIC hurriedly went to sign an un-scooped  GMOU with the Bonny Amanyanabo and the Bonny Chiefs Council without consulting the various stakeholders and key land owners, which led to our Union and other youths of the Jumbo Major House instituting an action in the Rivers State High Court in Suit No PHC/1731/2015 praying for the fraudulent GMOU’s  withdrawal and cancellation.”  

According to them, “Even the Bonny Kingdom Development Foundation (BKDF) which is enshrined in the signed-unscooped GMOU as the Agency that will manage the said N3bn Development Fund is yet to be registered with Corporate Affairs Commission.  Its registration was denied on the 10th of November 2016 because of underhand imposition of its Incorporated Trustees without mainstreaming the interests and representation of key land owners and varied stakeholders, after the purported GMOU was signed in October 2015.” 

The group said while the residential area of NLNG Management and Staffs “is paved with gold and looking like Dubai, the area occupied by the natives still looks like a 15thcentury hamlet; a veritable tale of two cities.”