Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Stakeholder communities of Oil Mining License (OML) 25 in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) have agreed on the procedures for the re-opening of the oil facility.
The stakeholders communities and Shell have also agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) next Monday to be facilitated by the Rivers State Government on their respective responsibilities in the final resolution of the conflict.
This was the outcome of the meeting yesterday between Stakeholder Communities of OML 25, SPDC, Service Commanders and officials of the state government on the directive of the state Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Representative of the Rivers State governor and Secretary of the Rivers State Government (SSG), Dr. Tammy Danagogo, directed the Solicitor-General of the state to draft a memorandum of understanding on the premise of the resolutions reached at the meeting. He said the MOU would be signed on Monday.
Danagogo outlined the four key resolutions reached during the crucial meeting on the re-opening of OML 25.
He said: “SPDC should pay the agreed funds into an account. The Permanent Secretary of the Community Affairs has been mandated to ensure that the funds are transferred to the communities.”
“SPDC should be able to pay the available sum latest by next Monday. Shell would pay N260million and N75million by Monday.
“The communities should within seven days of signing the resolution vacate the facility. Also within two weeks, Shell should pay the remaining part of N1.014billion.”
The SSG added that the meeting resolved that SPDC would therefore obtain approval from NAPIMS to pay the money that accrued between 2009 and 2013.
He added that within two weeks of signing the resolution, the state government would set up a platform for Shell and Stakeholder Communities to renegotiate the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU).
General Manager, External Relations of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr. Igo Weli, said the first set of funds to the Stakeholder Communities would be paid next Monday.
He stressed that the outcome of the financial reconciliations would be paid within two weeks of signing the resolution.
Weli added that SPDC in line with the resolution of the meeting, would seek the approval of NAPIMs for payment of funds for 2009 and 2013.
Chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rowland Sekibo, said the meeting initiated by the state governor has recorded a milestone with agreement on the funds to be paid by SPDC.
Member of the Rivers State House of Assembly representing Akuku-Toru constituency 1, Major Jack, commended the state government, SPDC and Stakeholder Communities for building synergy which would end in the signing of the MOU next Monday.
Amanyanabo of Opu-Kula, King Hope Opusingi, said the people of the area are happy with the agreement reached at the meeting, especially the reconciliation of the funds to be paid by SPDC.