Ogoni ethnic nationality has released a memorandum on benchmarks for engagement between them and companies desiring to take over the operatorship of Ogoni fields in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11.
This was contained in a draft document made available to journalists yesterday, by the Ogoni Oil and Gas Production Committee chaired by Professor Ben Naanen in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The draft memorandum of understanding (MoU), which was signed by 20 persons, outlined 27 conditions that should be looked into by prospective oil operators.
Delivering the document to notable Ogoni groups and individuals, Professor Naanen stated that a prospective oil company should cede to the Ogoni community 15 percent of its own share of the equity in their oil and gas fields.
He said that the proceeds from the Ogoni equity should be used for the development of the area, adding that there would be Ogoni Central Trust Fund, with certain amounts alloted to various groups in the ethnic nationality.
The chairman read: “Company XYZ and the Ogoni people shall agree on adequate local content policy in respect of employment and business opportunities as part of the MoU.
“Company XYZ shall implement in Ogoni, a robust Corporate Social Responsibility programme. The Contribution to CSR projects shall be based on the ratio of equity holding between XYZ company and the Ogoni community”, he stated
The committee noted that the Ogoni struggle was primarily caused, among others, by environmental degradation resulting from unsustainable exploitation of oil and gas in Ogoniland by international oil companies (IOCs).
It stated that the exclusion of Ogoni from the benefits of the petroleum resources taken from Ogoniland contributed to the struggle, which has lasted for several years.
Earlier, President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Legborsi Pyagbara, recalled that over 2,000 Ogoni sons and daughters have lost their lives in the struggle.
Pyagbara stated that there was no way oil production would resume in their land
without looking into what led to the death of our thousand of their people.
He said MOSOP had looked into the best oil operation practices in the world to know what should be the direction of the Ogoni struggle, adding that the document submitted by the committee would provide the way forward for oil production in Ogoniland.