Communities accuse oil companies of shortchanging Delta


Delta State Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa

By Jethro Ibileke

Concerned Itsekiri Orere Coastal Communities of Warri North and Warri South-West of Delta State, have raised alarm over alleged denial of the of revenue accruable to the state by operators of OML 108, Ukpokiti oil field, Express Petroleum and Gas Company Limited and its Technical Partner, Conoco Phillip Energy.

The communities claimed that instead of remitting its personal income tax to Delta State where the oil field is located, the company remits same to neighbouring Ondo State Government.

The communities raised the alarm on Friday, during a meeting with the Delta State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor, at the Government House Annex, Warri.

They tendered several documents from various agencies of Government, including a court judgment where the oil company was asked to pay compensation to some leaders of the communities for masterminding their illegal arrest and detention in Kirikiri Prison in 2011, as evidence that the disputed oil field is located within their domain.

This is Even as they accused Express Petroleum and Gas Coy and Conoco Philip Energy Nigeria Limited of several infractions, including failure to recognize and deal with its host Itsekiri communities.

Speaking through Evangelist Rocky Odeli, the aggrieved communities urged the State Government to prevail on the companies to stop neglecting its corporate social responsibilities to their host communities.

They urged the State Government to prevail on both companies to enter into a Global Memorandum of Understanding GMoU, that will regulate the relationship between them and the companies.

Addressing the aggrieved communities, Mrakpor who was represented at the meeting by the Director, Department of Peoples Rights of the Ministry, Mr. Toris Megbuluba, frowned at the non-appearance of the Company’s representatives in the meeting in spite of invitation extended to them.