Akwa Ibom State Government says it will seek a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with international oil companies (IOCs) and oil services firms to effectively address the needs and challenges of host communities.
Ekong Sampson, the Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, disclosed this at this year’s first quarter meeting with IOCs and oil services companies operating in the state in Uyo yesterday, Guardian reports.
He explained that the present situation in the country made it necessary to have a standardised MoU which content should address all issues of equity for all.
He decried a situation where IOCs and oil services companies only deal with host communities without the involvement of state government, stressing, “That is totally unacceptable.”
Sampson further expressed disappointment over the attitude of some IOCs and allied companies who reneged on earlier acceptable terms of MoUs they signed with the state government.
He, therefore, used the opportunity to unveil the draft template of MoU for multi-national oil companies and service concerns operating in the state.
The commissioner pointed out that there was the need to look at gaps that had strained relationship between the oil companies and service firms on one hand, and host communities on the other, in order to close such gaps.
He stressed that for good turnovers to be recorded the oil companies and their services counterparts needed a peaceful environment through a harmonious working relationship with host communities and the state government in their operations.
Sampson acknowledged that peace remained a key concern to the state government at all times, noting, “Regular engagement and bringing stakeholders to a roundtable are critical to building and sustaining a healthy relationship among players in the industry.
“As we live in a tense moment in the country, we need a standardised MoU which content should address all issues of equity for all.”
He charged all oil services companies in Akwa Ibom to emulate the operational model of the multi-nationals in the state and urged oil and gas concerns to submit the list of service companies to the ministry to enable it to obtain accurate data and the IOCs to comply with relevant state laws.