NIGER DELTA PRO: NOBODY DEFECATES WHERE THEY EAT

By Farouk Martins Aresa

3/12/2013 9:41:41 PM -

Can the Petroleum Industry Bill cure us? Ask anyone where most of Nigeria's foreign income comes from, most will tell you Niger Delta. O.k. Then ask where the worst environmental disaster is, most will also tell you Niger Delta. You mean we cannot connect the two dots that we cannot suffocate our source of income by defecating and eating from the same location.

There is enough blame to share but we know you cannot eat and defecate in one spot. The real devils are public relation officers of Shell demonizing everyone with their Nigerian employees, except themselves in front of foreign protesters occupying their offices. When you see Niger Delta Nigerians condemning their own in foreign countries, one must feel sorry for Africans.

Most of the oil stolen though is by highly untouchable men with big ships of international oil companies, not in barrels. Enough have been written that Nigeria has no idea how much oil it produces and how much is stolen. We are asking Britain, Russia and America to help us stop oil barons bringing profits to them by colluding with pardoned Nigerians military men, while small time barrel refiner's thieves selling locally get all the blame from oil companies public relations.

Like tobacco pushers they employ “Efulefu”, “Kenimani”,“Yan-Kiran-Raba” for propaganda. The logic behind their Pull Them Down Syndrome can be confounding because it does not improve the legacy of those hiding our wretched environment sent out to counter foreign protesters. They are paid traitors. It may make some sense in time of war to bring your enemy down with you but nobody should wish that on an innocent friend, family, our kin or Country as a job.

According to Shell Production Development Company, over seventy percent of the oil spill that caused environment hazard in the Niger Delta is local sabotage. “Sabotage and crude oil theft was the cause of 11,806 barrels spilled from SPDC facilities in 118 incidents, an average of about one spill every three days, accounting for 77% of the spilled volume during the year.” Even when Nigeria law did not require compensation in these cases, they paid $1.1m in 2011.

Haba Shell! To hide profit, most oil companies are not even listed on Nigeria Stock Exchange. So, they are saints by their remorseful effort to clean up, train people, build schools and hospitals in these areas. If anything, third party interference has done nothing to help their “missionary” effort but everything to hinder. If there was any delay to get to areas where there were oil spill, it was usually the fault of all the militants they fear or had to wait for Nigeria security escorts.

We must not and never condone the activities of terrorists which are even worse against women, children and old people. But to lay most of the blame at their feet is like justifying bloody murder. The real victims are fish farmers that cannot work anymore, food farming that have stopped because of polluted water not good to drink and families that depend on them for sustenance. The militants are like middle men exploiting the grievances of these victims.

It was true that in the fifties there was no demand for gas, so most of the “associated gas” was burned off by flaring. Since then, there has been demands not only in Nigeria but worldwide for gas. We are still not close to adequate measure to harness the economic advantage or prevent environment disaster of greenhouse gases that cause climate change and respiratory problems for the locals. Available technologies are already here that turns oil and gas into money.

Have you heard about those washing their hands with saliva by the river? Mr. Pickens, one of the oil magnates in United States spent his own money campaigning for more use of natural gas in vehicles and other utilities so that his Country can be energy efficient. We continue to waste our natural resources by flaring gas we could convert into dire needs. Deadlines upon deadlines given to energy companies by bribe takers from the companies they were supposed to regulate.

The oil companies would want us to trust them that since 2000, they have made a commitment with the Federal Government to change any misgiving, waste, turn economic opportunities into viable venture by which gas production were to be prioritized for industrial and other business use to power our Independent Power stations for the production of electricity. This may not be far from reality because Kwara State actually enjoyed some electricity by that combination.

The problem was timing. By the time some of the gas generation was ready, the power stations were idle and down for maintenance, so they missed one another through delays. Shell then went on to complain that as they struggled to accomplish sixty-five percent of the projects, some of them were vandalized or not commissioned because of crisis in Niger Delta. There are too many excuses, some genuine, most of which Government accepted.

Lack of investment funding is round-tripping. Shell blamed shortfalls on Government that did not meet its own commitments of funding, contract approval from NNPC and safety of workers in Niger Delta. The irony is that Shell expects funding out of whatever they declare as payment to Nigeria to fund gas flaring!

Oil PROs, like politicians are working against Nigeria while lining their pockets at the expense of the greater good. So since the seventies all we hear about are long speeches about propose development that would be completed on paper but not in reality. People just get fed up and wait for implementation or revolution that is taken advantage of by MEND or Boko Haram.

It is these types of action that makes us wonder who the managers of our African countries are serving. Every generation wish for a greater one to follow, parents pray for children that will do better than them and we all wish we can leave the world a better place than we meet it. But when we burden the next generation with odious loans they cannot pay, projects they cannot maintain and reduce their comfort to that of dark ages; they call us leeches eating their future.

Disclaimer: "The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article." © Farouk Martins Aresa.