The KEFFES host communities, an acronym for Koluama I & II, Ekeni, Fish Town, Foropa, Ezetu I &II and Sangana located on the Atlantic fringe of Southern Ijaw and Brass local government areas of Bayelsa state have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and First E and P over the operations of the OMLs 83 and 85 and community capacity building.
OML 83 and OML 85 are in shallow waters 40 km offshore in the Niger Delta. The Anyala and Madu fields are discoveries with a combined STOIIP of more than 450 million bbl and GIIP of more than 800 Bscf. First E&P holds a 40% interest in the licenses and is the operator of the asset; NNPC holds the remaining 60%.
The MoU, according to the signatories signed in Bayelsa, will promote mutual understanding and coordinated empowerment and training of indigenes of the host communities in Southern Ijaw and Brass areas of the state.
The General Manager of Corporate Services, First Global Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Ltd, Mr. Emmanuel Etomi, announced that as part of the benefits of the MoU, the First Exploration and Petroleum has concluded plans to send at least fifty teachers in the state on capacity building at the University of Lagos.
Etomi explained that First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company, which incidentally is a young company, recognizes the fact that oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region are critical stakeholders in development.
According to him, First Exploration and Petroleum in the past three years have been briefing various communities in the state on how development can be actualized with the support of every stakeholders in the oil producing communities.
In his remarks, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of KEFFES communities, HRM King Israel Igbousa – ODUO X informed that oil companies should regularly engage host communities in their activities to avoid crisis.
The royal father described the event as the beginning of a fruitful development for the state government, oil producing communities and oil companies emphasizing that the event will redefine the mindset of the people.
Mr. Kayode Soremekun, spokesman of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), in a vote of thanks expressed delight that the caliber of personalities that honoured the event is a demonstration of sincerity in the MOU.
Earlier in his speech, the Bayelsa state commissioner for Mineral Resources, Mr. Markson Fefegha challenged oil multinational companies operating in the state to go beyond signing Memorandum of Understanding with oil producing communities and genuinely develop the communities to check restiveness in the state.
Markson Fefegha made it clear that it has become necessary for oil producing communities in the state to be actively involved in the development of the communities so that agitations and oppression will be minimized.
He explained that the Niger Delta Communities with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will continue to remain peaceful so that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state and federal governments will grow.