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13 Host Communities Issue Stop Work Notice to Shell 13 Host Communities Issue Stop Work Notice to Shell

3 June 2005

This Day (Lagos)

John Iwori



Operations of Anglo Dutch oil giant, Shell, may be disrupted, as 13 of its host communities in the Niger Delta region have issued a stop work notice to the multinational oil company.


The action followed the abandonment of the proposed 42 kilometre Otuegila-Nembe road, which Shell promised them five years ago.


Chairman, Otuegila-Nembe Road Project Forum, Chief Damfebo K. Derri, said in a statement issued in the Bayelsa State capital, Yenagoa, that the stop work notice was informed by the antics and failed promises of Shell over the road project.


“We demand peacefully, but with resolute determination that there should be no further development of oil and gas facilities in our territory, unless and until the construction of the road actually begins.


“Our communities are tired of Shell’s failed promises and corporate irresponsibility.”


“This stop work notice applies to all exploration, exploitation and transmission facilities in our territory, including the National Gas plant, EGGS I and II, the gas transmission system (GTS) to NLNG Bonny, and the non-associated gas wells drilling project. We can no longer be taken for a ride by this multinational predator, we call out to the world to be our witness.


“We are drawing the attention of the Federal Government and all people of good conscience all over the world to the intolerable plights and continuous deceit to which our various oil producing communities have been subjected to by Shell, particularly on the Otuegila-Nembe road project, besides other countless unfulfilled promises,” he said.


The statement said the 13 host communities are among the leading oil bearing areas in Nigeria, producing over 15 per cent of the oil and gas for which Nigeria is well known.


According to the four-page statement, which was made available to THISDAY yesterday, it was in keeping with this despicable tradition of failed promises and reckless disregard for host communities that Shell again refused to construct the Otuegila-Nembe road as scheduled.


“We are therefore dismayed, to say the least, to see that over three years after the Shell-stipulated commencement date, there is no sign that construction will start soon. It now seems to us that Shell has been deceiving us all along, seeing our people and communities as naïve and docile fools who would remain ever helpless in the face of enduring provocation, and who can always be set against each other by mischievous corporate and allied interests. But we are emboldened by the justness of our cause and, more importantly, the constant assurance that God is our helper at all times.


“We noted in studied silence when the Federal Ministry of Works in the THISDAY Newspaper of June 3, 2004 listed the “Otuegila-Nembe road” among the roads for which it was inviting proposals for engineering designs: a road for which engineering designs had since been done by Shell, another gimmick was in the works, we thought to ourselves.


“Incidentally, but to us not surprisingly, there is no mention of the road in the recently passed 2005 budget of the federal government of Nigeria.


“By a communiqué dated November 4, 2004 and three successive letters dated November 25, 2004, January 20, 2005 and February 7, 2005 respectively, we appealed to Shell to take urgent action to fulfil its promise to build the road. All of our appeals have fallen on deaf ears, as Shell could not even deem it to reply us.


“In the meantime, Shell blissfully continues its operations in our territory and is about to start major expansion world on some, notably by way of the Eastern Gas Gathering Project (EGGS) phases I and II, aimed at expanding the natural gas supply plant in our heartland, which currently feeds the LNG Bonny Plant with 55% of its gas requirements”, the statement added.

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