Oil companies, Oil producing communities, State Government & Security agencies to form joint negotiation committee.

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The governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has directed that a Joint Negotiation Committee that would define the relationship between Oil Companies and their host Communities in the Oil Producing Local Governments of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta be Constituted to ensure development and durable peace in the Communities.

The governor had given the directive at a meeting he presided over between traditional rulers, youths and women leaders from the Oil Producing Communities and representatives of the Oil Companies, at the Government House on Thursday, December 8, 2016.

The governor had earlier cancelled all Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the leaders of the Oil Producing Communities had entered into with the Oil Companies and the governor had cancelled such MoU following agitations from the Communities that the Oil Companies and some of their leaders had been hiding under such agreement to shortchange them, which they also said was major part of the reason for the crisis in the areas.

In the Joint Negotiation Committee, each of the Oil Producing Communities would nominate three persons each, while the government would also have three members in the Committee. The Oil Companies would nominate two members each, while the Police, Army, State Security Services (SSS) and Civil Defence Corps would bring one member each.

The Joint Negotiation Committee would now determine what should be the role of the Oil Companies in the development of the concerned Communities, and the essence is to ensure lasting peace in the Communities and conducive atmosphere for the Oil Companies to operate.

The governor commended the youths of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta for their Cooperation so far, and said that even one million barrels of oil could not worth the blood of one person in the oil producing areas.

The first meeting of the Joint Negotiation Committee will take place on January 10, 2017 and the Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Kingsley Uju was asked to Coordinate the exercise since he has done much in handling such situations.

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