The Bayelsa government has concluded plans to establish an Oil Communities Development Commission to accelerate development of oil bearing communities within the state.
Hon Monday Obolo , Speaker of Bayelsa House of Assembly who stated this on Thursday in Yenagoa noted that an executive bill sent to the Assembly by Gov Seriake Dickson had passed first hearing and would receive expedited passage.
According to Obolo, the bill sets aside 13 percent of the 13 per cent derivation funds acruing to the state to be channeled to development of oil communities to compli!ent the social obligation gestures of oil firms operating in the state.
Obolo who spoke at the inauguration of community development projects funded by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in Oporomor Cluster Development Board, for Southern Ijaw communities noted that the communities were grossly underdeveloped.
“It is my view that the development funding currently being provided by Shell under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) is grossly inadequate compared to the level of contribution to oil output.
“The environment in our communities in Southern Ijaw has been so degraded and nothing is too much for the communities and that is why the Gov Seriake Dickson administration has taken steps to establish an Oil Producing Areas Commission to compliment the GMoU,” Obolo said.
Speaking earlier, Mr Igo Weli, General Manager in Charge of External Relations at Shell noted that some 60 development projects were completed for the Oporomor cluster at a cost of N737.4 million for 2019.
Weli, who was represented by Mr Evans Krukrubo, External Relations Manager, West Asset said the projects cut across infrastructure, economic empowerment transportation intervention and scholarships.
“The handover of these completed projects highlights the support SPDC gives to people in our areas of operation when there is a conducive environ!ent for interaction and when we all take up the opportunities available to engage on matters that affect all of us.
” We encourage other communities to emulate the Oporomor GMoU Cluster and devi’s peaceful and progressive schemes to develop our communities,” Weli said.
ChiefmEbipremene Feboke, Chairman of Oporomor Cluster Development Board applauded SPDC for adopting the GMoU model for development of its host communities adding that it allowed community involve!ent in the selection and implementation of projects.
Feboke noted that the GMoU process has inbuilt governance structure that ensures transparency and accountability ad opposed the the previous model where the oil firm decides on projects and awards contracts without input from the people. 

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