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OIL & GAS: Host Community, Aradell Holdings Reconcile To Engender Dev’t . . . Community Demands Details On 5% Dev’t Fund

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by Oyagiri Chime-emele 

An indigenous oil and gas producing company, Aradell Holdings Nigeria PLC, operators of Oil Mining License 54 and one of its host communities, Ogbele in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria have agreed to reconcile their differences in order to engender development.

Aradell Holdings Nigeria PLC, formerly known as Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Plc, NDPR produces diesel, cooking gas and Petrol, with its processing plants situated at Ogbele community.

The community, at a town hall meeting, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 with Aradell Holdings Nigeria PLC Community Relations Manager, Mr Blessing Okpowo and his team, likened the visit as a case of waving the olive branch, and assured the Aradell’s representatives of the community’s readiness to have a mutual working relationship if it will maintain operational best standard practice.

In a welcome address by the community secretary, Comrade Solomon Oyagiri,
the community insisted that it ought to know how much has accrued to it from the 5% Development Fund, either quarterly or annually.

He lamented that Aradell Holdings has not accorded the community its due, despite developmental promises made by its pioneer Managing Director, Aret Adams, of blessed memory.

The community cited the continuous refusal by the company to give details of the 5% development fund accrued to it as one of the vexing situations created by the company.

The Community General Secretary posited that Post Environmental Impact Assessment, PEIA, as a result of hazardous pollution and accompanying economic deprivation and social benefits to numerous fishermen and women arising from the company’s trucking operations on its coastal lines has not been carried out.

He queried the non payment of equitable fees from badges and vessels trucking at the community river base, pleading that something positive should be done to engender development.

He frowned at the continuous refusal by Aradell Holdings Nigeria PLC to implement the agreement reached with the community after the September 13 – 16, 2022 peaceful protest, alleging that some staff teamed up with some community denigrates to thwart the reached agreement.

He hinted that the selective justice created to cover the fraud and mismanagement of the host community trust fund is the bane of development, progress and the cause of spiral mountains of litigations to contest injustice and marginalization by the people and enjoined the company to always align with genuine community representatives.

The community further pointed at the non employment of sons and daughters of the host families/community into managerial positions, lack of total employment, refusal to adhere to the Local Content Act and impoverishment of the people through lack of award of contracts as issues that need to be urgently addressed.

While responding, Mr Blessing Okpowo thanked the people for their warm reception, and promised to take their demands to the management.

Okpowo assured the people that the community maternity home would soon be upgraded to a Cottage Hospital where healthcare services would be accessible and affordable.

He urged the people to be united in their demands and affairs, saying, ‘only unity of purpose can attract the needed development,’ and assured the people of a regular interface with the community leadership.

Earlier, the custodian of the community land and Ekpeye titled Chief, His Royal Highness, Eze Prince Chiwhetu Ezegwogwo, JP, AP, Onwowokwani Ekpeye I of Ekpeye land , urged the company to genuinely relate with the community and also activate its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR mechanism to put an end to era of litigations.

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