Leaders of some communities in Warri, Delta State, have called on the Federal Government to engage more with them in order to come up with the best protection for pipelines in the area.
The leaders, after a recent meeting of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, commended the Federal Government for awarding a pipeline surveillance contract in OML30 to Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, owned by Capt. Hosa Okunbo, adding that they would welcome more of such so that conflict would be reduced in the Niger Delta region.
In a statement signed by the National Chairman of HOSTCOM, Benjamin Tamaranebi, the group demanded the direct engagement of indigenes, especially youths, in the protection of oil installations and facilities in the area.
“There is a need for the Federal Government to continue to engage host communities in protecting oil pipelines and installations in the Niger Delta.
“So far, the government has shown that commitment by engaging Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, but we want more of such controls to be given to our people.
“Youths and ex-militants who are indigenes of oil producing communities should be engaged to watch over these oil facilities.
“The performance of Ocean Marine Solutions has shown that indeed we the locals can handle this task, so the government should partner with us more so that cases of sabotage can be brought to an end in the Niger Delta.”
The group, while urging the Federal Government to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, called for the prompt payment of gas flares penalty fine to host communities.