GASIN, in partnership with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, organized a stakeholders roundtable discussion for communities within Rivers state. The meeting was attended by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC), NOSDRA, Federal Ministry of Environment, Rivers State Ministry of Environment, National Environmental Standards Regulation and Enforcement Agency (NOSDRA), the Police, Paramount Rulers, Women Leaders, CDC Chairmen, youth representatives, GMG Leaders of host communities, the media and other interested members of the public.
Issues bothering the host communities were presented and respectfully discussed upon in an effort to strengthen the relationship among stakeholders of the oil and gas industry. Communities including Aggah, Obrikom, Okwuizi, Mgbede, Obie, Ebogoro were represented in the meeting. A COMMUNIQUE that was adopted by all participants were released after the fruitful deliberations.
MULTI-STAKEHOLDER' ROUNDTABLE BETWEEN COMMUNITIES, REGULATORY AGENCIES AND OIL OPERATORS
In an effort to create and strengthen linkages between Communities, Government Regulatory Agencies, and Oil Operators (SPDC and NAOC), the Gas Alert for Sustainable Initiative (GASIN) in partnership with NOSDRA (Port Harcourt, Zonal Office), organized a town hall stakeholders workshop for leaders from Aggah, Ebogoro, Mgbede, Obrikom, Obie and Okwuzi communities in ONELGA, Regulatory Agencies and representatives of SPDC and NAOC.
2. Attendance: see attached list.
3. The Stakeholders resolved that host communities should be consulted before projects are executed under the MOU framework to ensure projects add value to the communities and are sustainable.
4. Sincerity in dealings between the oil operators and the community in terms of execution of projects under the MOU as well as prompt renewal of expired MOU.
5. Appropriate feedback mechanisms between the operators and host communities should be strengthened to check the ugly trend of abandoned projects.
6. Oil operators should consider the employment of qualified indigenes of their host communities when opportunities exist.
7. Safety mechanisms should be put in place by oil operators in their host communities in the event of any emergency issues.
8. Establishment of revolving loan funds, micro-credit schemes as well as agricultural facilities put in place to alleviate the suffering of women and youths.
9. In order to foster environmental sustainability, oil spills should be contained and cleaned without delay and communities should not deny access to the spill sites.
10. Host Communities that have waste pits and other hazardous facilities sited close to them should channel their complaints to the appropriate authorities within the companies for action to be taken.
11. Communities should be committed to make input for improved Sustainable Community Development (SCD) and relations through ownership approach to the projects executed for them by the operators.
12. Operators should enlighten the communities on the normal grievance handling procedure to present their complaints and communities should also avail themselves of this opportunity to enable peaceful relations.
13. Communities should encourage their youths to adequately make use of the available capacity building and empowerment opportunities to improve their performance in order to succeed in SPDC recruitment examinations.
14. Federal Government and the oil and gas operators should put the necessary mechanisms in place to stop gas flaring in their operational areas considering its adverse effects on communities and their sources of livelihood.
15. There should be sincerity in promises made to the communities by the operators.
16. SPDC carries out major projects and other benefits for its host communities (impacted by its facilities) through the GMoU/PGMoU platforms. But some social investments are usually attached to pipeline projects to mitigate impact to the pipeline communities.