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Delta communities shut down oil firm over projects delay, non-inclusion of indigenes in management

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Residents of some communities in Ughelli local government area of Delta State have shut down operations of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL), operators of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30 for various infractions.

The decision to shut down HEOSL operations was taken at the end of a meeting held on Monday in Warri by the Cluster Management Committee/President Generals Forum representing the company’s host communities in the state.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and signed by its Chairman Harrison Obogor and the secretary, Ibuje Joseph, the committee called for the revocation of the company’s licence over its alleged recalcitrant attitude to all agreed obligations in line with the existing General Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).

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It added that HEOSL failed to pay their host communities the 2019 and 2020 GMoU funds despite operating in a conducive and peaceful environment.

The communiqué read: “Other areas of defaults by the company include non-inclusion of indigenous personnel into management position reflecting 70/30 as enshrined in the GMOU.

“Inability of HEOSL to pay vendors despite the hitch-free operation, non-payment of salaries accrued to access control workers spanning into months, making it absolutely impossible for communities to access the deducted five percent investible funds from the GMoU funds as enshrined in the GMoU since inception of OML 30 till date.

“Delay in carrying out GMoU projects among others.”

The General Manager in charge of Community Relations for HEOSL, Sylvester Okoh, declined to speak with journalists on the matter.

The general manager said he was not authorised to comment on the development.

“I don’t have the authority to speak on this matter,” he said.

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