Protests At Escravos Terminal: NNPCL, NUPRC Disown Chevron * How Chevron, Olu Of Warri Palace Collude To Circumvent NUPRC Recommendations, PIB Laws

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) have disowned the American oil giant, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) over the poor implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act in its areas of operations in the Niger Delta.

NNPCL and NUPRC in response to the ongoing protests by the indigenes of Ugborodo, Deghele and Ugboegungun communities at the Escravos loading terminal, said the American oil giant should be held responsible for the action.

The umpires in the oil industry were reported to have concluded that failure of the management to comply with extant laws enshrined in the PIA was responsible for the seizure of its facilities in Escravos.

It was gathered that the umpires were particularly livid that CNL jettisoned the PIA in desperation to satisfy the Palace of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III.

Findings showed that NNPCL and NUPRC were irked that Chevron ignored the advice of NUPRC on the amicable resolution of the impasse between it and indigenes of Ugborodo, Deghele and Ugboegungun communities over the naming of the Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) for communities around Escravos terminal.

The umpires were unhappy that the Palace of the Olu of Warri dictated and imposed a unilateral omnibus name for the communities, a development that negates the spirits of PIA.

Specifically, NUPRC was unimpressed that CNL ignored the letter dispatched to its Managing Director, Mr. Ricky Kennedy, on the resolution of the protracted crisis over the implementation of PIA in its host communities.

The Chief Executive of NUPRC, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, in a letter to CNL boss dated September 6th, 2023, asked Chevron’s management to respect the spirits and letters of PIA in handling the grievances of its communities of Ugborodo, Deghele and Ugboegungun.

Komolafe ordered Chevron to act in consultation with the commission and the three communities on the naming of the HCDT for communities around Escravos terminal.

Besides, Komolafe directed that Chevron in consultation with host communities should expand the proposed membership of HCDT Board of Trustees from five to nine.

“You are hereby required to work peacefully with the host communities in the implementation of the above within 2 weeks from receipt of this letter,” Komolafe warned.

However, Chevron was reported to have contravened Komolafe’s order in desperation to satisfy the parochial whims and caprices of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III.

In obedience to the Warri monarch, CNL’s management circumvented the PIA, by imposing a name, alien to the law for the HCDT for communities around Escravos terminal.

Instead of the Ikpere Host Community Development Trust (IHCDT) demanded by Ugborodo,Deghele and Ugboegungun communities for the committees around Escravos terminal, CNL colluded with the Palace of the Olu of Warri, to impose Warri Kingdom Onshore Host Communiyy Development Trust (WKOHCT).

“The WKOHCT which Chevron and Olu of Warri Palace concerted and conspired to impose on the people is against the PIA and contravened the position canvassed by NUPRC in the letter duly conveyed to the company. The PIA is clear and it cannot be subjected to any manipulation by any individual, no matter, how highly placed.

“Law is law and it should be respected by Chevron and the Palace of the Olu of Warri. They should know that PIA is a law and it cannot be manipulated. The reason for the ongoing protests is the unholy alliance by Chevron and Palace of the Olu of Warri to circumvent the PIA.

“Until the PIA is duly implemented, the protesters have vowed to remain at the terminal. PIA only recognises oil bearing communities and not a blanket kingdom, which the Olu of Warri and Chevron are planning to foist on us. We are resisting it and we are going to sustain the resistance.

“The umpires – NNPCL and NUPRC believed that CNL is responsible for the ongoing crisis at the Escravos loading terminal by not doing the right thing and its management have been told to obey the law to guarantee peace,” added the source.

In a statement on behalf of the protesters, Alex Eyengho, said his kinsmen would not vacate the scene unless Chevron implemented the PIA to the letters.

Eyengho, who bemoaned the sponsorship of the troops of the Nigerian Navy to intimidate peaceful and armless protesters by the management of CNL, said no amount of threat and intimidation would deter his people from achieving their legitimate goals.

Eyengho added that the protesters would remain in the area until their 41-point demand are met by the authorities in CNL.

The protesters had seized the Escravos loading terminal since Monday, November 20th, expressing anger over alleged disregard of the law by CNL’s management in the implementation of the PIA.

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