Bayelsa Community Shuts Down Agip’s Oil Wells | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Niger Delta

Bayelsa Community Shuts Down Agip’s Oil Wells

Posted: Jun 1, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The people of Egbebiri Community in Biseni, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have shut down six oil wells operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), alleging neglect of its Cooperate Social Responsibilities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the aggrieved residents, comprising youths and women, blocked all access roads leading to the affected oil wells with logs.

The paramount ruler of Egbebiri, Chief Aniedima Nicholas, told NAN that they disrupted the oil production because of NAOC refusal to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the community.

Nicholas said the maiden MoU signed in 2001 lapsed in 2005, but efforts to get the oil firm to renew the MoU proved abortive.

“Our grievances are due to the insensitive posture of Agip to our developmental aspirations.

“Our needs and expectations are captured in that agreement and if you look at the few amenities we have here, they are products of the first MoU.

“From 2005 till date, Agip abdicated its role and that stagnated development here; the road you see was from that MoU, we have waited for so long a time and decided to take this final step.

“We are prepared to go to every length to bring them to the negotiation table to renew the MoU as well as pay outstanding liabilities for jobs done by the community for more than one year.

“Our surveillance jobs on their pipelines have continued despite heavy debts owed to us as well as pending compensation for oil spills since 2010,” Nicholas said.

The Chairman, Ijaw Youths Council in Egbebiri, Mr John Aniedima, said the youths have sacked security operatives deployed to safeguard the facilities after shutting down the flow of oil.

“We have taken over the wells to compel Agip to come to a negotiating table with community leaders.