Bayelsa Govt. suspends MoUs between oil companies, host communities

The Bayelsa has announced the suspension of all agreements between international oil firms and communities across the state.

Gov. Douye Diri’s announcement is contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah on Thursday in Yenagoa.

The suspension is on the heels of an allegation Bayelsa that Shell Petroleum Development (SPDC) was fueling crises and insecurity its communities in the Niger Delta.

According to the statement, agreements between oil firms and communities should align with policies of the state .

It said was necessary in order to foster better relationship between host communities and the oil companies on the one hand, and the indigenes of such communities on the other hand.

The statement said government would begin a review of the Global Memorandum of (GMoU) between cluster boards and community trusts with International Oil Companies (IOCs) in the state.

It said henceforth, agreements between oil companies and host communities would to be approved and monitored state government.

“The state government is interested in being a party to such agreements to ensure all parties comply with the terms.

“A situation where oil firms breach agreements with hosts would no longer be tolerated. often results in conflicts in communities.

“Consequently, no community in the state, especially those in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, should sign any GMoU with IOCs and security companies operating in area.

“Where such agreements been inadvertently entered into, they remain invalid subject to a review Office of the Attorney-General through the Ministries of Local Government and that of Mineral ,” it said.

When contacted, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, Media Relations Manager, SPDC, said the was aware of the Bayelsa government’s position.

He said that the would respond in due course. (NAN)