GASIN in partnership with the National Oil Spill Detection and response Agency (NOSDRA) organized a Stakeholder’s Joint Workshop on the theme “Creating and Improving Linkages between Communities, Government Regulatory Agencies and the Oil and Gas Operators.” The communities in focus are the four communities in ONELGA: Obrikom, Mgbede, Okwuizi and Aggah, where GASIN has a Gas Alert Project ongoing.
The workshop was graced by the media and complete representatives of the stakeholders of the facilities in these communities. The regulators present were the NOSDRA, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Rivers state Ministry of Environment (RSMOE) and the National Environmental Standards, Regulation and Enforcement Agency (NESREA). The oil and gas company that attended was the Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC), which is the major operator of the facilities in the communities in question. The communities were represented by their respective Paramount Rulers, Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairmen, Women Leaders, Youth Presidents and GASIN’s Gas Monitoring Group (GMG) leaders.
Keynote addresses and goodwill speeches were presented by all the regulators present, and the communities made presentations on pressing issues that affect them with regard to the oil and gas exploitation activities in their respective communities. The issues raised by the communities cut across environmental and health effects, corporate social responsibility (CSR), oil theft and sabotage.
The presentations were followed by very serious discussions, questions and answers by the stakeholders present on the way forward. A communique was raised and signed at the end of workshop.
Commenting on the workshop, all the participants commended the GASIN-NOSDRA partnership for the initiative. GASIN, headed by Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Edward Obi, who also doubles as the National Coordinator of NACGOND, was very much applauded by all, including NOSDRA, for their uncommon commitment to proffering and facilitating sustainable solutions to the lingering challenges encountered in the course of oil and gas exploitation in the communities. Everone at the workshop hopes that the partnership will continue and workshops of this kind will be frequently organized so as to address the pressing issues raised.