The Bayelsa Government says it is involved in signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between communities and corporate organisations in the state in order to protect the communities’ interests.
The Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the clarification on Tuesday in Yenagoa at a meeting with traditional rulers and people of Brass Local Government Area.
Ewhrudjakpo assured them that the state government would do everything possible to ensure the implementation of the agreement reached between the community and the Brass Fertilizer Company.
He explained that the government intervention in MoUs between the people and the company was to protect their interest and not to scuttle the project as being speculated in some quarters.
Ewhrudjakpo noted that conflicts in most communities in the state were traceable to multinational oil companies’ failure to honour MoUs with the host communities.
He said that henceforth, all MoUs must be signed with the involvement of the state government to avert a situation where corporate organisations renege on agreements.
Ewhrudjakpo said, “Now on the issue of companies not recognising communities, there is a rule/law that states that if you are not a party to an agreement, you cannot acquire right and incur liability.
“If there is an agreement and there is no third party that witnessed the agreement, it becomes a problem because when they (companies) renege, there is nothing you can do.
“So, what government is trying to do is to put an eye to such reneging and watch. It is not take over the running of such MoUs.
“Government wants to ensure that if a company is coming to operate, we must know what the company is coming to do and the content of the agreement they sign with the host community.
“If government knows what you have signed with them, it can then make the companies to implement what they have agreed to do,’’ he said.
In their responses, lawmakers representing Brass II and I Constituencies, in the State Assembly, Omubo Agala and Charles Daniel respectively, commended the state government for taking steps to protect the interest of the people.
They also lauded the state government for providing security in the waterways.
The Chairman, Bayelsa Traditional Rulers Council and Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, urged the state government to prevail on the Federal Government to complete the Nembe-Brass road.
Other traditional rulers present included Chief Baratuaipre Eketei Amaene, the Amanyanabo of Die-ama community, the Acting Clan Head of Akassa Kingdom, Chief P. W. Consul-Oluku and Dr Alali Ikpeyaigula, Amanyanabo of Akabeleu-ama community. (NAN)