Ijaws in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, have urged the Federal Government to give them a Right-of-First-Refusal in the bidding process on marginal oil fields located in their area.
Spokesperson for the Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs, Godspower Gbenekama, made the call on Sunday at a news conference held at Oporoza, the administrative headquarters of the Gbaramatu kingdom, as residents carried placards with various inscriptions, alleging marginalization. Some of the placards read, “FG should restart the Omadinor-Escravos road project, “Bring back our Dockyard, NIMASA”, among others.
“We have by this medium announced our total and unequivocal objection to a bidding process that has for long excluded well-to-do Gbaramatu indigenes from the marginal fields. The Federal Government should come up with modalities where competent companies owned by Gbaramatu indigenes will be given the right of first refusal on oil fields located in Gbaramatu and Warri South-West,” Gbenekama said.
The Ijaws are displeased with the ongoing bidding process for the 57 marginal fields by the Department Petroleum Resources (DPR) which, according to them, had excluded companies owned by indigenes of the area from participating.
While appealing to the government to relocate the Floating Dock/Ship Building Yard originally planned to aid learning in the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, they also urged Federal Government to resume work on the abandoned Omadinor-Escravos road to boost socio-economic and peaceful co-existence of Ijaws and Itsekiris.
“We urge the Federal Government to restart the Omadinor-Escravos road project to improve the economic relations between the neighboring Warri South and Warri South-West Local Government Areas. The Federal Government should also resume work on the multi-billion dollars Gas Revolution Industrial Park in Ogidigben and Deep Seaport in Gbaramatu both in Warri South-West, among others,” Gbenekama said.