Kyari, Wike & Sylva
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has said that the successful resolution of the dispute between the Belema host communities and Shell Petroleum Development Company in respect of OML 25 is a starting point to change in business development of Rivers state.
He also added that it is imperative to handle issues peacefully in the region rather than through agitations and militancy insisting that agitation has not benefitted the Niger Delta people over the years.
The Minister was speaking in the company of Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC Mele Kyari, the Managing Director of Shell, Osagie Okunbo and others on a courtesy visit to the Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike at the Creek Haven, Government House Port Harcourt.
The Minister revealed that some people were deliberately fuelling problems for business opportunities to leave Rivers State, saying now is the right time for all stakeholders to work for more investors to come into the state.
Sylva & Kyari at Belema OML 25
Wike in his remarks, charged oil companies to respect the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed with the host communities to ensure peaceful and productive operations, as his administration would continue to develop the right environment investors to operate.
Meanwhile, Kula Community in Akuku Toru Local Council was agog as Silva, Kyari, Okunbo, and the President of Belema Oil Producing Limited, Tein Jack Rich Jr., reopened the embattled OML 25 shutdown over two years ago for alleged neglect of the host communities.
Earlier at the facility, which was occupied by women, Rich Jnr explained to them that their interest had been captured in the agreement and demands for the reopening signed last week.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Silva expressed happiness that they were in the state to celebrate the return of peace to the OML 25 and the host communities.
It would be recalled that on June 22, 2019, Rivers State Governor Wike initiated a peace talk between aggrieved Kula communities and Shell for the re-opening of OML 25 but his effort was resisted by some elements within the community who accused him of selling them out to Shell Petroleum rather than to protect them.