Era of Shutting down of Oil Production Facilities Over, Wike Warns Rivers Communities

*Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike during a meeting with Chairmen of Cluster Developnent Boards in Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema Local Government Areas with Oil Companies and Security Agencies at the Government House Port Harcourt on Thursday




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*Urges oil companies  to embark on meaningful projects in host communities 
Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that the State Government  will not tolerate the shutting down of oil production facilities of operating companies  in the state.
Governor Wike said  under no circumstances should communities  take laws into their hands by preventing oil production companies from working.
Speaking  during  a meeting  with Chairmen of Cluster Developnent Boards in Asari-Toru,  Akuku-Toru and Degema Local Government Areas with Oil Companies and Security Agencies at the Government House Port Harcourt on Thursday,  Governor Wike directed the immediate revival of the State Steering Committee on Cluster Development Boards.
He said: “I will not support any company  not to carry out  their corporate social responsibilities to their host communities.
“However, communities  must not take laws into their hands. They must not stop production  by the operating companies.  Such actions will negatively  affect the finances of the Federal Government,  the state and  the local government areas”.
He said in cases where companies  fail to act within the expectations of the communities,  the State Government will mediate through  the Steering Committee on Cluster Development Boards.
“It is important  that we do not allow crisis to occur in the communities.  The Aeroton rig in one community  was seized. That rig should be allowed to work. I called this meeting  because  of the concerns raised by the operating companies  in the area”, he said.
Governor Wike said that the Steering Committee on Cluster Development Boards will have the Permanent Secretary,  Community Development,  Security Agencies,  Community Development Clusters and oil companies  as members.  He said the committee  will meet at regular intervals to address ensuing challenges,  in order to forestall  the escalation of  conflicts.
He regretted  that most problems in the Niger Delta are caused by oil companies who patronise and engage with criminal elements to the disadvantage  of the host communities.
In a remark,  former Commissioner of Environment,  Mr Samuel Horsfall said that the oil operating companies know the right to do, but they will never take the right steps.
He said that the oil companies  even refuse to recognise Council Chairmen,  who are the direct links to the respective communities.
An official of one of the Cluster Development Board, Mr Charles Sekibo denied seizing  the rig of one of the oil companies.  He said that his community  has always  provided  the needed support  for the company  to engage in production.
The Managing Director of Aeroton,  Mr Ebiaho Emafo said that nobody  has the right to stop the production  of oil companies.
He said that the company has spent  about N3 billion on community  development,  saying that the company  is struggling to make ends meet.
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