Host Community In Rivers Accuses Shell Of Abandoning Projects

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The Umuakwuru Community in Igbo Kingdom, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, has accused the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of abandoning all projects contained in a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) it signed with the people.

The community, which claimed to have over 150 oil wells, said the project sites have been converted to criminal hideouts.

Acting Paramount Ruler Innocent Nwosu said the area was suffering from perennial flooding because of an abandoned road project.

He said: ”The time we need the government and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is now. We  have over 150 oil wells here in Igbo, yet there are no accessible roads to most of the communities.

“Erosion has sacked some people, and this is caused by SPDC, which said it wanted to do projects in our MoU. It handed over the road to a company which bulldozed everywhere and since then we have not rested from flood.”

The monarch said Shell abandoned the water scheme, cottage hospital, education, scholarship and upgrade of six classroom blocks, as well as a town hall project, despite a court judgment mandating it to complete the projects.

But Shell’s spokesperson Michael Adande said the company is committed to the development of its host communities.

He said the proposed Integrated Waste Management Facility, which the monarch said was abandoned, was discontinued following strong opposition from stakeholders in Etche.

“Despite the discontinuation of the project, SPDC still included Umuakuru, Okoche and Chokocho communities in the three phases of the Etche I Cluster GMoU,” he added.

Adande listed ongoing projects in the community as construction of 100-capacity town hall; electricity extension to new areas; bursary to 21 students in tertiary institutions; skills acquisitions training for six Umuakuru community youths and construction of perimeter fence for the Umuakwuru Community Health Centre, among others

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