To forestall conflicts in oil-bearing communities, the Bayelsa State government has said it would commence a review of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) between Cluster Boards and Community Trusts with international oil companies (IOCs) in the state.
It said henceforth, such agreements would have to be approved and monitored by the state government.
Governor Douye Diri, who gave the directive through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the agreements should also align with policies of the state government in order to foster better relationship between host communities and the oil companies on the one hand and the indigenes of such communities on the other hand.
His words: “The state government is interested in being a party to such agreements to ensure all parties comply with the terms. A situation where oil firms breach agreements with their host would no longer be tolerated. This often resulted in conflicts in communities.
“Consequently, no community in the state, especially those in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, should sign any GMoU with IOCs and security companies operating in their area. Where such agreements have been inadvertently entered into, they remain invalid subject to a review by the Office of the Attorney-General through the Ministries of Local Government and that of Mineral Resources.
“As a government that is interested in the peace and wellbeing of our communities, we want to ensure the relationship between host and cluster communities with the oil companies is cordial, with all parties keeping to the terms of the agreement entered into.”