Bayelsa Communities Threaten Showdown With Shell Over Failure To Honour Agreement

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Bayelsa communities, under the Tarakiri clusters in Ekeremor and Sagbama local government areas of the state, are threatening a showdown with the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) over breaches in the agreements reached in the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).

In a petition made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, and signed by its Chairman, Mark Pereotukefie, a group under the aegis of the Voice of the Youths of Egbemo-Angalabiri, said the company has reneged on the agreements reached in principle on the GMoU, signed in Feburary 2016.

The communities, which play host to three installations operated by the oil giant including the Opukushi and Tuma flow stations and the Kambo oil field, stated that since 2016, when the GMoU was signed, none of the indigenes of the communities had been employed by Shell.

While warning of an imminent breakdown of law and order if Shell refuses to honour the requirements of the GMoU, the group said the “Tarakiri cluster communities jointly and severally undertook to submit to a capacity building process, but up till now, the company has failed to organise any workshop on that”.

Others violations cited by the youth group against the oil giant include non-complaince with the pre-project training; pollution, which include both aquatic and terrestrial; unemployment; human capacity building, among others.

However, SPDC spokesman, Bamidele Odugbesan, said SPDC does not implement GMoU but only made money available to the GMoU management board, made up of people from the community.

He said the youth or any other person who felt the GMoU was not well managed should direct their reservations to the management board.

He said: “I am explaining this to you so that you know that GMoU is not implemented by Shell. The people determine their projects; their priorities. Shell does not execute GMoU; Shell only makes the money available, after we have all agreed that these are your priorities, and then we say ok. And we make the money available over a period of five years.

“So, if there is any way or the other that they mismanage their GMoU, they shouldn’t come to Shell. They should go to their management board, which is made of people from the community.

“What Shell also does in case you don’t have skills in the field you are engaged is to engage the monitoring NGO, who will train you so that you can able to manage your resources prudently and judiciously.”

Culled from here

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