July 16, 2024

E&P companies operating in Bayelsa state have enjoyed peace in last three years – Governor Douye Diri


Oredola Adeola



The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri has disclosed that exploration and production companies operating in the state have enjoyed relative peace over the last three years due to the efforts of his administration, despite being downplayed by the Federal Government in the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Acts(PIA).




The Bayelsa State Government made this known at the just concluded Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF), organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.



According to him, it is unfortunate that the Federal Government has sidelined the sub-nationals in the process of implementing the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA), despite the significant roles we play in creating enabling environment for investors.




The Bayelsa State Governor, who was represented at the programme by Ebieri Jones, Commissioner for Mineral Resources, said that most all the oil and gas sector players in the state have enjoyed a peaceful and secured operational environment due to the mechanism put in place by the state for host community youth to entrench peaceful atmosphere despite limitations of the PIA.



He said that it is unfortunate that the Federal Government does not recognise the roles that the state governments can play in the implementation of the PIA.



The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Mineral Resource, while corroborating the statement of the Governor further emphasised that the regulator’s promise to capture the role of sub-nationals in regulations being gazetted in the PIA described the place of the Niger Delta Governors in the entire implementation process.



He said, “I am struggling to understand how the regulation is more important than the acts in itself.”



On what is responsible for the peaceful business environment in Bayelsa State, Ebieri Jones, “As the State Government we are ensuring that we provide a conducive environment for the operators in the oil and gas sector, that is why we have done two programmes that are tailored towards ensuring that host communities in Bayelsa State understand the need for collaboration with the oil producers.



“This is because ff we do not do this there can’t be prosperity. We all know that the oil industry is the major focus of the economy as a mono-product economy. That is why we decided to do that.


“The statistics showed that in six years, so much has been done in the state, while there has been a lot more peace in Bayelsa for the last three years than in previous years.



“Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) can attest to the role that Governor Diri has played in guaranteeing peace in the communities that they are operating.



Speaking about the PIA, he mentioned that the act in itself was skewed against the overall interest of the people of the Niger Delta. adding that the three per cent of the overhead operational cost of the oil company committed to the oil community development funds is not sustainable.


He lamented that a whopping 30 per cent of the profit on oil and gas will be going into the exploration of the frontier basins areas.



Ebieri further identified initiatives such as ease of doing business, youth empowerment and trainings as well as infrastructure upgrade, as some of the opportunities that have been introduced in the state by the Diri’s administration to foster investment drive.



The Commissioner also encourage stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to upscale hydrocarbon production tailored towards meeting the energy needs of the Nigerian people, at a time when the country’s population is projected to quadruple in the next few years.



He also lamented that Nigeria, as a leading oil and gas-producing country in Africa, does not have companies producing oil and gas pipelines after 60 years of investment in the petroleum industry.



He further charged the NNPC and other exploration companies to commit more towards ensuring the safety of the environment, which according to him is the guarantee for peace in their different operational areas.


Ebieri said, “If the environment is not safe, the impact will be shown in the community’s restiveness and revolt by the people.



The Commissioner appealed for support from the oil companies for the sponsorship of youth programmes initiated by the state government.


According to him, the majority of the youths in Bayelsa are unemployed.



He, therefore, called on the international oil companies to collaborate with the NCDMB and ensure that the Board’s training centres are operational, to develop the capacities of the Bayelsa youths.


He also challenged the NNPC and the international oil companies to collaborate with the ongoing efforts of the Bayelsa State Government to complete three senatorial road projects.


Ebieri said, ” Bayelsa is in a coastal zone that is swampy, we need the collaboration of NNPC and other oil companies to fast-track the development of the state. The state’s three Senatorial zones remained the geese that lay the proverbial golden egg.”


The Commissioner also called for genuine efforts to fast-track the implementation of the PIA, especially on provisions that caters to the host communities.


He further noted that the relevant government agencies and supervising ministry has been slow on implementation.