The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Gas Resources, Hon. Fred Agbedi, has given reasons why there is less of oil-related restiveness in parts of the oil-bearing Niger Delta region.
According to the lawmaker, the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) which is the community engagement strategy adopted by the joint venture (JV) between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited in their oil and gas operations in areas of the region where they operate has helped calm nerves.
Agbedi, said the GMoU strategy of the JV partners has proven to be a solution to the many community related challenges of the oil firms in the Niger Delta region.
Agbedi, noted that through the GMoU model, Chevron and its JV partner has shown that peace and harmonious relations with Niger Delta communities was possible and practicable.
He explained that the cause of restiveness among the youths in the area was anger occasioned by neglect and insensitivity of the government to the plights of the people.
According to him, Chevron instituted an effective system of engaging with the communities in a profitable manner, which has continued to enhance cordial relationship between the communities and the company.
“The GMoU by Chevron has created the desired enabling environment for oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta. What Chevron is doing is to bring the communities together and work with them for sustainable socio-economic development in a transparent and genuine way.
“I urge other organisations to emulate the NNPC/Chevron joint venture for steady development in the Niger Delta region,” said Agbedi who was represented by Hon. Ayebide Fatiede, at the just ended 2018 edition of the Nigerian Gas Association’s (NGA) conference.
Similarly, the General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs (PGPA) of Chevron, Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, stated that since 2005 when the GMoU was established, it has recorded significant achievements especially in areas of education, health, and economic development.
Brikinn, said that the NNPC/CNL JV had contributed over N20.6 billion to implement projects and programmes for about 600,000 beneficiaries in more than 400 communities.
“In terms of managing conflict and enhancing peace in communities, the GMoU story is one we are very proud to tell and has resulted in very impressive footprints in various communities and the model has helped improve CNL’s relationship with its neighboring communities, as it created a clearer and more predictable channel for dialogue,” Brikinn, noted.
He also commended the commitment of the traditional institutions; government security forces; community and leaders of the Regional Development Committees (RDC) for driving the multi-stakeholder collaboration for asset protection and stressed that CNL will continue to work to strengthen relationship with these stakeholders.
According to him: “The community leaders have shown great commitment to this process and has seen the connection between CNL’s operations and their livelihood. They understand that an enabling environment for our operations translates to continuous benefits to the communities in terms of our contributions to their socio-economic development.”
Meanwhile, Chevron has received a special recognition award for its role in the NGA and Nigeria’s gas industry. The award was presented to Chevron at a gala and awards night of the NGA 2018 conference.
Brikinn, who received the award for the firm, expressed delight for the recognition, and explained Chevron has a comprehensive and aggressive gas development programme that is driven by good environmental stewardship to eliminate gas flares in its operations, help meet Nigeria’s energy needs and convert Nigeria’s huge gas resources into wealth for the benefit of the nation.