Edwin Clark, leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), says Shell must divest its ownership of OML 25, otherwise known as Belema oil field, to an indigenous firm.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Clark opposed the sale of the field to Chrester Nigeria Limited and asked the federal government to grant Niger Delta indigenes and the Niger Delta state governments the right of first refusal in the renewal and award of oil licenses.
“Over the years, International Oil Companies exemplified by Shell have not only exploited the resources and degraded our lands; they are also taking advantage of the people, inducing unnecessary crisis and conflicts,” the elder statesman said.
“Host communities of OML 25, otherwise known as Belema, Offinama, Ngeje, Kilama, Diaba, Okoama, amongst others and the entire Kula Kingdom have resolved that SPDC must divest OML 25 to an indigenous firm.”
“SPDC must therefore put on hold any planned sale of OML 25 in the overall interest of peace and stability of the Niger Delta Region.”
Clark said granting rights to an indigenous firm or the states in the region would positively impact on the social and economic prosperity of the region and the country as a whole.
Clark accused SPDC of failing to honour its agreement with the host communities of OML 25, noting that it instead sold some of the flow stations in 2014 and was presently planning to sell the Belema Gas Station to Chrester Nigeria Ltd.
“SPDC must produce the report of pre-environmental impact assessment carried out before their operations and post-impact assessment to determine the state of the environment.
“This will be done in partnership with UN Environmental Protection Agency, the communities, the State and the Federal Government environmental agencies, PANDEF and SPDC.” (The Cable)