Oil-rich Kunukunuma community in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state has frowned at the exclusion of Kunukunuma from the list of host communities in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42, saying the community has been treated as host community over the years, and has been enjoying same in terms of amenities and community projects executed by SPDC.
A statement jointly signed by the Chairman, Chief Moses Bebenimibo, and Secretary, Engr. James Odibo, which was made available to GBARAMATU VOICE in Warri, said the community was informed by Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) Community Liaison Officer that Kunukunuma was among the list of host communities that was forwarded to the Head Office, therefore wondered why its was later excluded.
The statement further stressed that, Kunukunuma as host community in OML 42 has benefited six class rooms block, Borehole water project with treatment plant and overhead tank, and network of water pipes, 350KVA Perkins generator with electrical poles and wiring covering the entire community installed by SPDC.
It added that, a deep water well project was also approved for the community, stressing that the contract was awarded, contractor visited site and engaged the community in dialogues in preparation to commence work, but the project was later cancelled due to failure of a pilot project at another community.
The statement reads in part, “we have been benefiting annually from Post Primary and Tertiary scholarships award as ‘Areas of Operation Merit Award’ up to 2011/2012 academic year (copy of allocation letters attached for your perusal).
“Each time SPDC organized People’s Parliament, Open Forums, Kunukunuma community as one of the recognized host had always been invited to attend such meetings in both their office and hotels in Warri, (attached is copy of such invitation to the open forum held at Wellington Hotels, Effurun on 29/11/2011 where the intention to sell the OML 42 was made to know to all SPDC host communities and the handing over to the new operator).
“When NPDC came on board and invited host communities of OML 42, Kunukunuma community was conspicuously omitted. When we drew the attention of the NPDC Community Relations Officer, we were told it was an error and that it will be corrected as soon as possible, but up till now nothing has been done.
“We wish to state very clearly that we have been host community enjoying all host community benefits from SPDC before NPDC came on board, we don’t know why NPDC has not recognized Kunukunuma as host community in OML 42”, it concluded.
Kunukunuma Federated Community therefore appealed to SPDC and NPDC in particular to restore the community’s status as host community soon as possible to avoid break down of law.