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Delta communities, Contractors threaten to shut down OML 30 operations

Community Protesting and Mr. Morrison Idiovwa, the CDB Chairman

Accuse CDB chairman, Idiovwa of diverting N200m SAVIC fund to personal pocket

Community Protesters and Mr. Morrison Idiovwa, the CDB Chairman

 

The Oil Producing communities and Contractors of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State have threatened to shut down operations at the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30 in Eriemu oil field over what they tagged as “Breach of GMoU” between the oil firm and it’s host Communities by Heritage Energy Operational Services.

The communities staged a peaceful protest on Wednesday to the Community Development Board (CDB), Ughelli to express their grievance against the oil firm and the board

The protesters who carried placards with various inscriptions, such as “HEOSL stop your operation”, “HEOSL, we need our money today, we’re tired of your promises” among others, expressed sadness of the role of the CDB in shortchanging the people.

The protesters said they will not leave the Community Development Board (CDB) a supposed mediating body between the community and the company premises and that no administrative work will take place until their demands were met.

Issuing a 7-day ultimatum to the companies, who are operators of (OML) 30 and the Board during the protest, the community leaders and contractors stated that its peaceful disposition may have been taken for granted.

The protesters lamented that the GMoU 2016 wavier Funds has not been given to contractors that handled various contracts in their communities thereby plugging the contractors into huge debts as the contractors borrowed money from banks, cooperative bodies and money lenders to execute the projects.

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They alleged that the “Investable Funds” accrued to the 112 communities that make up OML 30 from 2013 till date has not been paid and Two hundred million naira from SAVIC to the communities has been diverted to the personal pocket of the chairman of CDB, Mr. Morrison Idiovwa.

 

ALSO READ: OML30: Heritage appeals for understanding from its stakeholders, host communities

 

The protesters alleged further that the funds for 2016 Capacity Building has been paid seven months ago and Mr. Morrison refused to give the money to the communities to share, hence he stopped calling the meeting of the board because he had an agreement with the company, HESOL to deposit the money into his personal fixed deposit account in one of the new generation bank.

While calling for the immediate sharing of the 2019 & 2020 GMoU Funds to Cluster 2 and various communities made up of the Cluster, the protesters said the actions of the CDB Chairman and the management of the oil firm. Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited negates the relevant sections of the GMoU that stated that such money should be share within five working days.

“We suspect that the management of CDB and HEOSL are trading with the communities money, we need our investable funds accrued to Communities from the oil exploration running to billion of nairas, the 2016 capacity-building funds that have been released to the communities but withheld by the management of CDB and that Two hundred million naira paid by SAVIC, and all contractors that handled various contracts in our Communities without delay”.

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Addressing the protesters, Mr. Morrison Idiovwa, the CDB Chairman, appealed to the leadership of Cluster 2 Eriemu Oil Field and the contractors to remain calm assuring that he will personally pass their grievances to the management of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Lagos State.

Commenting on the alleged diversion of the Investable funds of Communities into his personal fixed deposit account since 2013 till date, he said the money is intact assuring the protesters that the money will soon be released for its purpose.

“I will be the last person to divert funds meant for Communities for my personal use, don’t worry your money is intact,” he assured.

Earlier, the leaders of Cluster 2 and the contractors has vowed ground the operational activities of HEOSL after expiration of the one-week ultimatum given to the HEOSL and CDB.

 

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