SPDC provides generators for Ijaw communities

  • Friday, July 21, 2006 - By Sola Adebayo, Warri
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The Anglo-Dutch oil firm, Shell Petroleum Development Company, has provided 13 giant electricity generators for the various Ijaw communities in the Niger Delta.

The multi-million dollars generators are in 725 KVA and 500 KVA categories.

It was gathered that a large chunk of the generators had been sent to the various communities in Gbaramatu kingdom, regarded as the operational headquarters of the Ijaw militants in the region.

It was gathered that the provision of the generators was in fulfillment of one of the six conditions demanded by the Ijaw militants for the re-entry of the SPDC to its shut production platforms and fields in the region.

It will be recalled that the representatives of the militants handed down the demands at the meetings facilitated by the Delta State Government in Warri in May, to enable the SPDC to regain its abandoned oil fields.

It was gathered that the SPDC had initiated moves to meet the remaining five demands by the militants, including provision of potable water and the payment of $1.5billion awarded by a Federal High Court in favour of Ijaw aborigenes in Bayelsa State.

Others are the construction of staff quarters at Oporoza Grammar School in Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state, reservation of the supply of Automotive Gas Oil, popularly known as diesel to all the SPDC facilities for accredited communities’ contractors and employment of their kinsmen.

The management of the Dutch oil firm on Tuesday said it had commenced re-entry process into its western swamp operation shut down in the wake of the crisis in the region in February.

However, findings by our correspondent revealed that Ijaw communities identified as Oweigbenene, Ojobo, Okerenkoko, Kunukunuma, Kokodiagbene, Oporoza, Kurutie, Pepeama and others which have been without electricity in the region, will benefit from the gesture.

It was gathered that the Niger Delta Development Commission assisted the SPDC by providing four of the generators.

It was gathered that the contracts for the maintenance and running of the generators had been awarded to the indigenes of the benefiting communities by the SPDC.

The spokesman of the Ijaw militants and President of the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities, Dr. Bello Oboko, confirmed the provision of the generators.

He urged the Dutch oil firm to speedily meet other demands of his kinsmen to ensure its quick return to the fields.

SPDC’s External Relations Manager, Western Division, Mr. Harriman Oyofo, in a telephone interview on Thursday, said it was premature to comment on the details of the meetings with stakeholders in the Niger Delta on the resumption of operation in the western swamps.

Oyofo said discussions were ongoing.

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