REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR AKINWUNMI AMBODE, GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE ON INAUGURATION OF THE LAGOS STATE Oil Producing Areas Community Relations Committee (Badagry Local Government) at the VIP Chalet, ASCON Road, Badagry on november 9, 2017
As you may all be aware, Lagos State has officially joined the Oil Producing States in the Country with the discovery of Oil in the Badagry Area of Lagos State; in the Aje Oil Field, OML 113 being operated by Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company. Exploration and developmental activities in this field commenced since June, 1991 and officially became operational in 2016.
Oil is the major source of revenue in Nigeria today but despite the huge benefits from the discovery of Oil, its exploration has brought many negative effects in the oil producing communities and subsequently affecting the whole nation. The exploration activities have been found to create serious environmental challenges affecting health, social and economic activities, sustainable development and ecological balance, due to Land Degradation, Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Deforestation and Ecosystem Degradation.
These activities amongst others have led to agitations from Communities and Youth Groups and leading to disruption of exploration activities, pipeline vandalisation and in extreme cases kidnapping and violence. This has made it difficult to conduct the business of oil production smoothly and ensure that the relationships between the oil companies and their host communities remain cordial at all times. This has also affected negotiations for compensations for land acquisition, damages and spills.
Lagos, being the home of Nigeria’s most critical commercial activities and now an oil producing State cannot afford to have any community unrests or disruption of the peace. It is imperative that our oil producing companies and their host communities enjoy a very warm and mutually beneficial relationship.
Sequel to the aforesaid and the need to create a conducive exploration environment for the Oil Companies as well as having host Communities devoid of rancor to prevent the re-occurrence of the Niger Delta issues in Lagos State, we have constituted a Committee for the Lagos State Oil Producing Areas Relations, cutting across the Oil Producing Communities in Badagry.
This committee will among other things;
- Interface between the host Communities and the Oil Companies in Badagry.
- Coordinate a seamless implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) interventions planned for the Badagry Oil Producing Areas by Oil Producing Companies in Badagry.
- Coordinate Community and Development issues between the host Communities, Government and Oil Producing Companies Operating in Badagry.
- Ensure peace and harmony between host Communities and Oil Producing Companies in Badagry.
Our government is committed to creating a conducive environment for all to thrive especially in our budding oil industry. We will always work to protect our people and ensure their improved welfare while at the same time providing an investor-friendly environment.
On our part, we will take proactive measures to prevent oil spillage and where it happens, quickly move to clean it up according to globally accepted standards. We will also ensure the safety and security of our communities and operators at all times.
Ladies and gentlemen, Badagry is on the way to becoming a major hub for oil activities in Nigeria. The upcoming Badagry Deep Sea Port will provide logistic support for the oil and gas industry and further support the expansion of the economy of this axis thereby making it more viable and livable.
I thank the members of the newly constituted Lagos State Oil Producing Areas Community Relations Committee for accepting to serve and contribute to the development of our State. This is a tough assignment because it is not easy to mediate and arbitrate.
By this appointment, you have been called upon to bring to bear your wealth of knowledge and experience to ensure cooperation and collaboration between the communities and the oil companies operating in Badagry.
I look forward to receiving the reports of your activities and the progress being made by our communities and oil companies.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Mr Akinwunmi Ambode
Governor of Lagos State
November 9th, 2017