BENIN CITY – A group that goes by the name, Concerned Youths for Development and Equity Initiative for Oben, in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, yesterday, gave the management of Seplat Energy Plc, 90 days ultimatum to rescind itsdecision of siting gas loading point in Mosoga in Delta State, instead of Oben, the host community.
Addressing newsmen, Assistant Secretary of the group, Comrade Raymond Omokaro, said that the oil firm has decided to set up loading its point in Mosogar instead of its host community
He said it is unheard of that a company would be carrying out its activities in a particular community while the end part that would be of an immense benefit to its host community would be diverted elsewhere.
“We are still asking that the gas loading point that the Seplat is taking to Mosogar should be returned; you cannot be exploring gas in Oben and then take the loading point to Mosogar; we will not allow that.
” They should come and build the loading point in Oben and if the road is the problem, they can as well do a dua carriage way for us. We are tired of having resources and the resources is not working for us,” he added.
Omokaro also alleged that the multinational firm has constantly marginalized its host communities in various ways and therefore called for a reversal of such trend.
“It is very unfortunate to see that since they have been operating in our land, they have not done any project that is meaningful. We have graduates in this environment that are not gainfully employed by this company.
“You have gone through the four communities (Oben, Iguelaba, Ikobi and Obozogbe N’ Ugu), there is no constant electricity; the health facilities that we have here is like a pmaternity. We have asked them to upgrade it to a standard hospital.
“We are requesting that they should give the host communities employment into the managerial cadre; we are also asking that before now, they used to give scholarship scheme to our people, but for quite a number of years now, we have not been seeing that; they should enact it and start giving scholarships to our people.”
Corroborating Omokaro, the group’s President, Comrade Humprey Igbinigie said that the oil firm has also failed to empowered the rural women.
“This oil company has been existing since 1972. We have about 68 oil wells head and a gas oil field as well.
“We have a flow station; we have a compression station; we have a gas plant as well. We are really lacking a lot in terms of development; it’s as if nothing is happening; no graduate has been employed; a lot of graduate sitting at home; no women empowerment; the elderly ones are not being paid, no amnesty; if you take a look at our roofs, you will notice that this gas flaring is affecting us badly.
“And Seplat don’t have a plan for this in the next year. So, we are calling on the state government, the federal government to come to our aid and sit Seplat down and tell us what are their plans and what they want to do for us,” he said.
However, a call to get Seplat’s management comment on the issues raised was left unanswered.