To further enhance its peaceful operating environment, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC) signed a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with the One Hundred and Twelve (112) communities in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30 and the Delta State Government on Tuesday, 3rd February, 2015 at the Office of The Deputy Governor of Delta State.
Speaking shortly before signing the agreement, the Managing Director of NPDC, Mr. Anthony Muoneke stated that OML 30 is one of the company’s biggest assets in Delta State. He also expressed the optimism that the signing of the GMoU agreement would bring to fore a truly peaceful relationship between NPDC and the 112 host communities.
“This is a momentous event because we are signing this GMoU agreement with the communities where we have one of the biggest assets in Delta State. We want to use this opportunity to thank the Delta State Government and the representatives of the OML 30 communities. Hopefully, this will lead to a more peaceful relationship between NPDC, the host communities and the entire State”.
Mr. Muoneke, who led the NPDC Management team to perform the signing ceremony, further assured all involved that the terms of the GMoU would be strictly adhered to. He said: “NPDC intends to keep its words and the host communities have been educated and they also intend to keep their own side of the bargain. I’m glad that the Delta State Government has also put its weight behind the GMoU, so it is going to work.”
In his response, His Excellency, The Deputy Governor of Delta State, Prof. Amos .A. Utuama (SAN) expressed his gratitude to NPDC and the communities for the peaceful conclusion of the GMoU. He also emphasized the need to sustain the existing symbiotic relationship between the parties.
Prof. Amos .A. Utuama (SAN) who presided over the ceremony further charged NPDC to ensure that transparency and sincerity which governed the negotiation process of the GMoU are maintained during the execution of the agreement.
He further assured that the Delta State Government will not relent in its efforts to ensure that the parties involve abide by the terms of the GMoU. He appealed to NPDC to equip representatives of the communities with the prerequisite knowledge to understand the document and successfully carryout their obligations.
He said: “The Delta State Government will on its part hold the parties to compliance with the terms agreed to. I will advise that because this is a new experience in the relationship between the communities and NPDC, efforts should be put in place to ensure adequate capacity building and training of the operators of the GMoU agreement in order to reduce or completely eliminate avoidable friction”.
The highpoint of the ceremony was the signing of the GMoU agreement by the Managing Director, Mr. Anthony Muoneke on behalf of NPDC while the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Emmanuel Okhirenyefa and the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Oil and Gas, Hon. Omamofe Joseph Pirah also signed on behalf of the Delta State Government. The representatives of the host communities had earlier signed their portions accordingly. The GMoU agreement shall be for a period of four (4) years with effect from 1st September, 2013.