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Published On: Thu, May 9th, 2013

Host Communities Monarchs Back NNPC Oil Block Deal in Delta State

Host communities of oil blocks 26, 30, 40 & 42 in Delta state have expressed support for the allocation of the oil block’s licence to an indigenous company Atlantic Energy Concept Limited by the NNPC subsidiary, Nigeria Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC).
Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, nine traditional rulers led by High chief Anamali Joseph Oji from the communities hosting the oil blocks said, “If not for anything, the deal supports the local content policy which we, the oil producing communities, have agitated for over the years.

“The local content which is a key provision in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is one major reason why the oil producing communities have consistently urged the National Assembly to pass that piece of legislation which we believe will mark an unprecedented participation of Nigerians in the petroleum sector.”
Chief Oji rejected the call of those calling for the reversal of the transfer of operatorship of the oil blocks on the grounds that the company was not owned by a Niger Deltan.
He said: “As long as an Ijaw man could live in Lagos, an Uhrobo or Itsheikeri can own a house or business in Lagos or Jos, we wonder why a Yoruba man or whosever, as the case may be, wouldn’t be able to do business in our area, in as much as the interests of the host communities are protected.”
According to the chief, the peace being enjoyed in Delta state should be given a chance by all. He accused those clamouring for the reversal of the deal of having selfish agenda, saying they did not consult with the people before shouting blue murder.
The group said: “We have closely monitored the position of those calling for the revocation of the licences of the affected blocs and have come to a conclusion that these paid agitators within and outside the House of Representatives are working against the interests of host communities.

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