Oil Producing States Drag SPDC To Senate Over Royalty
The Oil Producing states in Niger Delta, on Tuesday, stormed the National Assembly complex to express dissatisfaction against Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) over refusal to address issues of non-payment of land owners in the region.
The group in their tens recalled how the senate Panel mandated the SPDC to pay Oil producing states unfailingly in December 2017, but the company neglected and refused to do so till date.
The group added that both parties were thereafter slated to appear at the proceedings of the Senate Committee on Ethics , privileges and Public Petitions for the 23 day of January, 2018 but the said company refused, and neglected to come.
In petition written by U.J. Bekele, Esq, addressed to Senate President said, “We are counsel to Parsley Consult Limited and Emagu Nigeria Limited, our clients who represent several oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Abia, Imo and Rivers States of Nigeria.
“Vide the Petition with the above caption dated 20th October, 2017 and laid on the 25th day of October, 2017 we brought a petition to the Senate against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd stating that, amongst several other issues, the rental payment by the company to its host communities for the 2014-2018 payment cycle was discriminatory, the company paying N200, 000 per hectare for some communities as against N600, 000 per hectare for other communities.
“The Petition was referred by the Senate to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions which Committee both parties appeared before on Tuesday the 21St day of November, 2017.
“On that day, the Managing Director and other delegates from the SPDC Nigeria Ltd failed to satisfactorily explain the discriminatory payments.
“But the said Senate Committee magnanimously gave the SPDC Nigeria Ltd a soft landing, mandating it to hold a meeting with the parties in that regard to harmonise the issues raised but at the meeting which the said company thereafter convened on the 29th day of November, 2017 inviting only Parsley Consult Ltd and ignoring Emagu Nigeria Ltd against the directive of the Senate Committee the said Company circumscribed what to discuss and bluntly restated their company’s initial position on all the issues raised in the Petition.
“In a bid to address this intransigence by SPDC Nigeria Ltd the company was directed by the Committee to pay all our client’s claims unfailingly in December 2017 but the said company neglected and refused to do so till date.
“Both parties were thereafter slated to appear at the proceedings of the said Committee for the 23 day of January, 2018 but the said company refused, and neglected to come.
“Hence, the said Company holds the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and by extension the entire National Assembly of this great country in contempt, which that company, a Multinational certainly cannot do in either of its home countries of the Netherlands or the United Kingdom or in any other country for that matter without repercussions.
“The Senate is therefore prayed, in exercise of its Constitutional Powers to, in line with Section 89(1)(d) of the 1999 Constitution, issue a warrant for the arrest of the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd so as to compel his attendance to enable him come forward and explain why it has in disobedience to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions refused to obey the Directive that it pays off all the claims raised in the afore-captioned Petition which the SPDC Nigeria Ltd had been mandated by the said Senate Committee since December, 2017; to pay. ”