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Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2020

Reps summon MDs of IOCs for shortchanging host communities

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By Christiana Ekpa

The House of Representatives joint committee on Treaties, Protocols, Agreements and Petroleum Resources (Upstream) has ordered the appearance of Managing directors of oil companies in Nigeria to appear on Tuesday next week.
The resolution of the joint committee followed the absence of most managing directors expected at its one day public hearing on holistic review of all agreements and memoranda of understanding between oil companies in Nigeria and host communities as organised by the joint committee in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to chairman, House committee on Treaties Protocols Agreements, Hon.Ossai Nicholas, failing to appear, the committee will follow the guidelines as provided in the constitution.
The Ossai and Adar led joint committee ruled that only Managing Directors present at the hearing and host communities be attended to.
To this end, the only available managing director of Britainnia-U Nigeria Oil and Gas limited, Catherine Ifejika was quizzed by the panel.
Speaking, Ifejika explained that her company has been supporting the host community by employing people in the community as members of staff, giving out food items and providing health care services to the vulnerable despite the company’s low barrel produced.
Members of the committee however frowned at her explanation, saying the company’s service to the community is meager, going by the global memorandum of understanding which requires that certain percentage of
the company’s profit be allocated to the host communities.
“We wish that community get their rightful due not peanut from oil companies”, said the deputy chairman of the joint committee, Preye Oseke.
The joint committee further discovered that the memorandum of understanding between the company and its host community had expired since three years ago.
Nicholas who was not satisfied with claims of Ifejika and document presented, ordered her reappearance on Tuesday next week were her host community will be available at the hearing to attest to her claims concerning the service rendered to them.

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