Stakeholders Alliance for Corporate Accountability, (SACA) has called on multi-national oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to adopt best global practices in their operations.
SACA, a Yenagoa based nongovernmental organisation seeks to protect the interest of shareholders of International Oil Companies (IOCs) listed on international stock exchanges.
A representative of the organization and a Missionary attaché to the Irish Embassy in Nigeria, Rev Kevin O'Hara, made the call when he visited the Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Retired Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rtd}
O’ Hara in the company of the Irish Ambassador, Sean Hoy in Government House, Yenagoa.
O'Hara said, SACA, which was established in 2006 as a shareholder pressure group monitors the IOCs to ensure uniform standards in all countires where the IOCs operate..
According to him, the group had been monitoring the compliance of oil companies, particularly, Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) in meeting international standards in their activities.
He emphasised the need for Bayelsa people to benefit from their resources, especially as the state plays host to the Gbarain/Ubie Gas Gathering Plant, operated by SPDC.
He describing the project as SPDC's biggest multi-billion dollar investment in Africa.
According to O'Hara, in no distant time, SPDC will sign a Global Memorandum of Understanding with Gbarain/Ekpetiama cluster communities and expressed the hope that the people will not be short changed
He said a coalition known as Economic Council For Corporate Accountability, ECCA, based in the United Kingdom, has been prevailing on oil companies to improve on their relations with host communities in the Niger Delta.
O'Hara explained that, since 1996, efforts by the Council to get the SPDC Board of Directors to adopt the same international standards in Nigeria as in the United Kingdom, proved abortive.
Responding, Jonah, identified failure of oil companies to honour MoUs, issues of oil spillage and compensation as major sources of conflicts between host communities and oil firms.
Jonah, also decried the non-participation of the Niger Delta people in the oil and gas industry and lauded SACA for its efforts towards giving the people a sense of belonging.
Describing the devastation to the environment caused by the activities of oil companies as unquantifiable, Jonah said a study is being undertaken by experts on the extent of damage to the environment and the people.
He solicited the collaboration of the international community in the areas of education, power generation, agriculture, development of the Agge deep sea port and other infrastructure to build a sustainable economy beyond oil.