YENAGOA – Host communities under the auspices of the Tebidaba Cluster Development Board (TCDB) in Bayelsa State have issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to initiate a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) for the mobilisation of funds for the development of the communities.

The communities namely, Olugbobiri, Ikebiri 1 and 2, Opuadino, Olugboboro and Tebidaba, said that NAOC had been dribbling them over the GMoU more than nine months after the oil firm inaugurated the TCDB on September 22, 2021 at its office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The chairman of TCDB, Mr Seiminiyefa Igbugburu, stated this during a meeting at the instance of the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria held at the ERA Niger Delta Resource Centre in Yenagoa on Wednesday.

Igbugburu was accompanied by other officials of the board including the vice chairman, Damson Bipeleghe Esq; secretary, Igoli Timiondi; financial secretary, Otobo Ikie-Ebimo; treasurer, Ikebiriakuro Frank; and the public relations officer, Samson Bishop.

Citing the letter dated June 22, 2022, containing the notice of the 14-day ultimatum to the management of NAOC, he pointed out that it was the oil company that suggested the transition from Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to GMoU for projects execution.


Corroborating Igbugburu, the secretary of the TCDB, Igoli Timiondi, complained that apart from the absence of a GMoU, Agip had refused to carry out any developmental projects in the communities since the previous MoUs signed with each of them expired over 12 years ago.

Timiondi said, “The reason NAOC gave for not executing any single project in the various communities for the past 8 to 12 years was that, a Global Memorandum of Understanding was the new initiative to carry out development.

“It is unfortunate to mention here that since the setting up of the Tebidaba Cluster Development Board with representatives for almost a period of nine (9) months, and still counting, NAOC has blatantly refused to mobilise funds and fully equip the board to undertake any single development in our communities.

“As leaders of peace and law-abiding communities under the Tebidaba Cluster Development Board that are committed to ensuring a smooth working relationship with NAOC as tenants, our patience has been exhausted due to the company’s utter negligence, wicked, nonchalant, brazen abuse of due process and complete rape of our sensibilities as landlords and host communities.

“Therefore, on this very important note, we join the youths, women, elders, CDC chairmen and chiefs of the various communities to give the NAOC a 14-DAY ULTIMATUM to initiate the full mobilisation of funds to the Tebidaba Cluster Development Board for the immediate commencement of projects in the varuius communities.”

Responding, the Programme Manager/Head, ERA Niger Delta Resource Centre, Yenagoa, Alagoa Morris, said that the community and environmental rights organization would work to proactively bridge the gap between the communities and the oil firm.

Morris condemned the alienation of oil-producing communities from the 13 per cent derivation principle by the state governments, stressing that the principle was formulated because of the socio-economic and environmental damages suffered by the communities.

He said, “ERA as an advocacy group for sustainable environment and development in the Niger Delta has seen this (interface with TCDB) as another opportunity or window to bridge the gap proactively instead of waiting for the threats in the letters we received, giving ultimatum to NAOC.

“The 13 per cent is not trickling down to the oil-bearing communities. It is supposed to get to the communities for them to feel and have as sense of belonging.”

An expert on MoUs and GMoUs, Dr Tari Dadiowei, commended the Tebidaba Cluster Development Board communities for following due process in pursuing their rights, stressing that the board required an agreement with NAOC to implement community projects.

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