Forum of OML 42 host communities have appealed to President Muhamadu Buhari to come to their rescue by compelling management of NNPC E&P Limited (NEPL) and Neconde Energy, operators of OML 42 to address environmental challenges in the community resulting from oil pipeline leakage.
The appeal was contained in an open letter to the president titled “ continuous destruction of OML 42 environment and communities by NEPL/Neconde energy in Delta State” a copy of which was made available to the Liberator Newspapers on Tuesday
The letter was signed by Messrs. Windfree Atemubaghan, chairman OML 42/Kantu community, Francis Ayeku, general Secretary, Chief Engineer Samson Oyimi public Relations Officer, Victor Tonlagha Vice chairman, Mr. Tuoyo Mogbeyiteren Assistant Secretary, Hon. Dr. Shedrack Otuaro, adviser, Mr. Prince Okrikpa Adviser on behalf of the 14 host communities in the OML 42 host comprising: Jones Creek flow station, Odidi flow station, Batan flow station, Egwa1 flow station, Egwa 2 flow station was also copied to the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited Towers Abuja, Delta State governor Dr.Ifeanyi Okowa, the Managing Director NNPC E&P Ltd Nigeria upstream Regulations Commission, Chairman/ GMD Neconde Energy Ltd, Asset/ Deputy Project Manager OML 42 and the Project Manager OML 42
While calling on the president to treat their appeal with urgency, the forum stated that they have “ made several complains, representations and meetings with the management of NEPL/ NECONDE with a view to addressing the challenges” but regretted that all effort had “proved abortive”
The forum also decried marginalization of indigenous contractors in the award of contracts in gross violation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIB) and the Nigerian Local Content Act
They however warned that if steps are not taken by NEPL/ Neconde to address the issues of environmental degradation and undue favoritism in awarding of contracts, the host communities will have no other option than to disrupt operations.
They thanked President Buhari for saving lives in the host communities with the award of pipeline surveillance contracts to Tantita Security, a private and indigenous security outfit owned by High Chief Government Ekpemukpolo a.k.a Tompolo, stating that “that there have been commendable improvement” as they can now go about their traditional occupation of artisanal farming and fishing in the creeks.
According to the forum “ the Tantita Security service has contributed immensely to the preservation of our environment and the eco system as illegal bunkering activities, pipeline vandalism and the pollution of our water bodies has been drastically reduced.”
The letter reads partly “Mr. President, we are constrained to bring to your notice reported plan by NEPL/ Neconde to embark on repair work on section of the Trans Frocados Pipeline TFP which runs from OML 42 to Forcados terminal in Burutu Local government area of Delta State without recourse to it’s negative implications to communities and the environment”
“TFP was constructed since early 1960’s and have outlived it’s useful life span long ago leading to it’s continuous pollution of our environment and destruction of the eco system, thereby creating hardships for the locals.”
“ We are strongly appealing to President Muhamadu Buhari to save our lives and direct the GCEO NNPC Limited to compel NEPL and Neconde to commence full replacement of the said pipeline rather than sectional repair works that will not stop further leakages. This line, TPF is one of the major line destroying our environment because it has expired and cannot withstand the pressure of crude oil on the line.”
“Therefore, we vehemently reject the section work as concurrently contemplated by both even NPEL/ Naconde which will continue to leak and continue to destroy our environment that is gradually recovering, thanks to operations of Tanita Security Services”
“Mr. President, it will worthy to note that NNPC E&P Limited (NEPL) and Naconde Energy Limited has continuously refused to genuinely, committedly and transparently embark on the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). We wish to state categorically that OML 42 communities are no longer comfortable with NEPL/Neconde on the PIA implementation process and other community related issues in the Asset. We therefore give the management of NEPL/Naconde a 21 day ultimatum to commence genuine implementation process of the PIA, failure of which will amount to shutdown of operational activities in the OML 41 Asset”.
“Mr. President it will interest you to know that all community based contracts are being awarded to top management staff of NEPL and Neconde Energy Limited, using their cronies as community vendors thereby depriving indigenous contractors of patronage. Sir, in line with the Nigeria Local Content Act, all community based marine and other services contracts should be awarded to indigenous community based contractors to develop their capacity and expertise to enable them contribute meaningful to operations of the oil industry particularly OML 42 in Delta State.”
“We strongly appeal to Mr. President to intervene in this regard to compel the management of NEPL/ Neconde to do what is right and needful as a matter of urgency to avoid operational disturbances.”
“A stitch in time save nine”