Niger Delta Activists Forum threatens to shutdown NUPRC over activities of Multinational oil companies

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….gives 7-Days Ultimatum

Wevole Ezin, Calabar

A civil society group, Niger Delta Activists Forum has given seven days ultimatum, threatened to shut down Nigeria Upsring Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) headquarters over activities of Multinational oil companies in the Niger Delta region.

The group threatened to mobilize 10,000 community dwellers to shut down the NUPRC headquarters and remain there until their demands are met.

They made the vow yesterday in a letter issued to the NUPRC and copied the President of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, The Nigeria Police Force within the Niger Delta, National Security Adviser and other relevant stakeholders.

The letter which was signed by the convener, Success Jack, National Treasurer and Leader, Cross River State, Okori Bernard and other five members, tasked the NUPRC to call for a dialogue with the host communities concern to avoid such action from taking place.

“At this juncture, it is important to warn that if , in the next seven days from now, the Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission under your leadership does not come public with announcement on their resolution and dates for this engagements, we would be left with no option but to mobilize ten thousand Host Community dwellers to shut down the NUPRC headquarters and remain there until our demands are met.” The group threatened.

According to the letter, the group alleged,”We have elected to write you this letter in view of the current divestment process undertaken by Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) of their onshore assets to the Renaissance Group, ExxonMobil Nigeria Unlimited to Seplat Energy and that of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company(NAOC) to Oando and the pains/chaos it promises to generate,instill, perpetuate and exercebate within Oil and Gas Host Communities.

“There are burning and very inciting issues ranging from claims, spillages, outstanding GMoUs, right of ways, legacy projects and Community local content concerns under the PIA, that are unattended.

“We believe that for a proper divestment to happen, transparency and stakeholders inclusion is necessary, without which operational peace for the new owners, within these Communities domain cannot be guaranteed.

Host Communities are supposed to be the chief stakeholders whose views, opinions and positions are to be factored.”

The Niger Delta Activists Forum said it’s was necessary because, the host communities hold the true inventory of not only the assets but also liabilities of the divesting Companies especially pertaining to claims, damages, pre- and post Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) infractions etc.

The letter further read, “There are hundreds of Host Communities Communities with outright violations on properties and environment ( water bodies, land, crops and air) well registered with authorities within our constituent states.

“But defiantly, these multinationals have oppressively remained elusive or adamant about it, believing themselves to be untouchable.

“We fear that, Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC ), ExxonMobil Nigeria Limited and Nigeria Agip Oil Company(NAOC) will not translate or factor in their outstanding liabilities arising from their unpaid claims and damages etc to the new operators, as doing so will greatly reduce the proper valuation of their asset.

“The above trajectory taken by these multinationals is a perfect recipe for anarchy, unrest and chaos because Host Communities have decided not to let in, the new owners/operators of these Oil and Gas assets within our ancestral lands.

“If these actions by the Companies are allowed to snowball into full blown anarchy, then crude Oil production will be affected, stalling national budget and planning. This is definitely not our ultimate desire, that’s why we are crying out.” The Forum demanded