The Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Sean Hoy, has commended the Bayelsa State Government for its efforts at sustaining peace, and attributed the high oil production level in Nigeria to the current stability in the Niger Delta.
Speaking while receiving Hoy in Government House, Yenagoa, yesterday, the state Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), expressed the governmentâ€™s preparedness to partner the international community, in seeking ways the state can benefit maximally from the oil and gas industry.
A statement issued yesterday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo, quoted the Deputy Governor as lamenting the non-participation of the people of the state in the oil and gas industry, which he said was a major cause of agitations in the Niger Delta.
Jonah, who noted that, â€œwe are not carried along in the oil and gas industry, emphasised that, the Niger Delta peopleâ€™ participation in the industry is almost zero.â€
The deputy governor, who lauded the Irish envoyâ€™s efforts to prevail on oil companies towards giving the Niger Delta people a fair share of the oil proceeds, said the state government would liaise with them, in resolving issues with the multinational oil firms.
In his remarks, Hoy, said they were in Bayelsa to interact with the state government and its people at the grassroots, as regards security issues.
Hoy, who commended the state government for its efforts at sustaining peace, attributed the high oil production level to the current stability in the Niger Delta.
â€œI was here in August, 2016. My predecessor never came to this area because he was afraid of insecurity and I believe that, if you are afraid of insecurity, you will never learn. It is important for us to understand the dynamics of the Niger Delta. This is the economic heart of Nigeria. I want to congratulate all those involved in stabilising that situation because Nigeria is now almost at peak production in terms of oil production on a daily basis,â€ Hoy said.
On next yearâ€™s general elections, Hoy said a team of international observers would be involved in monitoring the elections as well as provide support to promote free, fair and peaceful polls.
In his contribution, an official of the Missionary AttachÃ© in the Irish Embassy, Father Kevin Oâ€™Hara, stressed the need for oil companies to adopt international standards in their operations in the Niger Delta.
Father Oâ€™Hara, who said he had been interfacing with communities in the Niger Delta, called on oil companies to improve their relations with host communities to bring about lasting peace and stability.
â€œVery soon SPDC is going to sign a GMoU with Gbarain/Ekpetiama cluster communities. This is the biggest multi-million dollar project in Africa in your backyard. Therefore your people should be benefitting very well,â€ Oâ€™ Hara added.