By Davies Iheamnachor, PORT HARCOURT
The people of Ogoni ethnic nationality in Rivers State have demanded a quick review of the oil and gas sector to enable oil-producing communities to get improved attention for oil firms.
Ogoni also called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency on the development of the area, adding that despite the huge economic deposition of Ogoni, they were still underdeveloped.
These calls were made at the first Pan Ogoni Petroleum Summit in Port Harcourt organised by Pan Ogoni Magazine International.
Speaking, the Chairman of the Board of Pan Ogoni Magazine International, Engr. Olu Andah Ogosu noted that the review was important to reflect the state of things in oil-producing communities and ensure their challenges were addressed.
Ogosu said the summit was a platform to rouse the sensibilities of Ogoni and by extension the Niger Delta to the dynamics of the oil politics in terms of enhancement of indigenous participation in the oil business.
He called for the issuance of operational licenses to Ogoni and Niger Delta citizens to become key players in the oil and gas sector following the palpable global paradigm shift from oil and gas to renewable energy.
He said: “We are calling for the review of the entire oil and gas sector to reflect the prospectives and realities of the Local Content Act which endorses the active mobilisation of indigenous contents and royalties as fundamental principles in the oil economy.
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“We call on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the development of Ogoni land as an expedient and responsive measure towards addressing the infrastructural and human development deficits in the area despite the enormous contributions of the people to the nation’s economic fortune.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the summit, Senator, Bennett Birabi, said the summit was important to help Ogoni people decide their economic future in the petroleum industry.
Birabi said: “The summit is apt and pivotal for the alerting of the Ogoni people to redefine the development objectives and key into the dynamics and vigilance global energy shift.
“The Politics of Petroleum in Ogoni had that of agony, bitterness, strife, anger and aggression, spanned from decades of unpacified struggles in the Ogoni that has suffered severe brunts.
Birabi, former Senate minority leader, however, commended the organisers of the summit and stated that the conversation is very necessary to affect the course of history positively by changing the ugly narrative that makes Ogoni the hub of the oil and gas sector and the metaphor of brutish human struggles.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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