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allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Hope Brightens On Shell’s Return to Abandoned Oil Wells

This Day (Lagos)
Posted to the web November 14, 2006
Omon-Julius Onabu, Warri

Hopes have brightened for an early return by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to its oil exploration and exploitation particularly in parts of Ijaw areas of the Niger-Delta.

This followed the proposed meeting between the leaders of the Owners of Oil Producing Communities and SPDC West Operational Area (OOPCSWOA) and the Federated Niger-Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC), which is at the instance of the former intended to review the stringent conditions given for SPDC’s return.

A statement signed by representatives of oil producing various communities, including Chief Alex Oboitu, Chief A. Bubor, Dr. Clarkson Aribogha and seven others, noted that the planned meeting was prompted by the group’s desire to create a conducive environment for an early return to the affected areas by the oil giant.

Principal officers of the FNDIC, including Dr. Oboko Bello, Mr. George Timinimi, Mr. Dan Ekpebede and Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, have therefore been directed to attend the meeting unfailingly so that far reaching and binding decisions could be reached.

The statement also appealed to the leadership of the FNDIC to honour the invitation scheduled for Thursday, November 14, 2006, lamenting the disruptive absence of the FNDIC leaders from two previous meetings but maintaining that decisions on the way forward needed to be taken.

The FNDIC had lumped some new conditions in the path of SPDC with regards to return to the affected operational areas in the creeks in order to effect repairs on its installations damaged during the recent fatal clash between militants and federal security operatives.

Among the fresh conditions are: an end to gas flaring; demilitarization of the region; reactivation of the polluted environment; and, restring the degraded soil to its original form before the oil spills.

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