Eroton E&P says peace in Okrika helped in execution of GMoU projects
Relative peace and stability in the Okrika area of Rivers State in recent times is said to have boosted execution of community development projects in the area. This was said by the management of Eroton E&P, an indigenous oil company which now owns OML 18 including the Cawthorne Channel in Kalabari as well as the Alakiri and Orubiri oil fields of Okirika.
The Eroton E&P managing director, Ebiaho Emafo, who spoke through the CSO, Peter Abere, expressed delight in the high level of cooperation the company has so far received in Okrika which he said led to bounteous development projects such as a mega town hall centre that sits 1500 persons in its twin halls.
Eroton is in a joint venture with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the operation of Oil Mining License (OML 18) which until 2014 belonged to SPDC in the Cawthorne Channels and areas around Asari -Toru local council area.
Eroton E&P on January 17, 2020, thus showcased the sustainable development projects it has so far executed in Okrika local council area of Rivers State. The projects include the multi-million naira ultra-modern town-hall centre at Okochiri declared as mother of all projects by the Wakrike cluster board.
Others include the construction and equipping of Comprehensive Secondary School, Ibaka, Science Laboratory; renovation of six classroom block at Okrika National Secondary School; a solar-powered water project at Community Secondary School, Okochiri; and the construction of ICT Centre and Library with renovation of school hall at Ibaka town.
Others mentioned by the cluster officials include renovation and completion of Ofiomina Ama Public Health Centre; construction of four concrete fish ponds at Okochiri; construction of Ofiomina Ama Concrete Walkway Bridge; purchase and installation of 38 desktop computers, computer workstations & swivel chairs at Ibaka.
There is a shore protection project at Offiomina Ama Community said to be ongoing. Already, there has been distribution of textbooks to secondary schools in Okrika as well as supply of 1000 desks to secondary schools in the local council area plus supply of chairs for students and teachers in Okrika, according to the secretary of the WCDB, a private legal practitioner, Benebo Tamunosisi Alayineka, who took officials round. He confirmed that the board gets N45m per year in the past six years to execute projects under the global memorandum of understanding (GMOU) model inherited from SPDC.
Eroton E&P executed the projects in partnership with the Nigeria National Petroleum Development Corporation (NNPC), which is a joint venture (JV) arrangement. The projects were handled by the Wakrike Cluster Development Board (WCDB) with about N270m in the past six years since the divestment of SPDC in Oil Mining Lease 11 (OML 11) which covers the Alakiri and Orubiri fields.
In his address, the Wakrike Cluster Development Board chairman, Dean Sandy Tonyesika, a chief, said: “The citing of this building here was divinely ordained and we thank God for bringing this project to a successful completion. When the project was conceived in 2011 as a legacy project by SPDC, Okochiri was chosen as the best place for its location and today, it stands as a symbol of beauty and authority in this kingdom.
“The town-hall started as a pre-GMOU legacy project by SPDC and was subsequently handed over to a formal GMOU arrangement between NNPC/SPDC JV financing and carefully managed by the Wakrike Cluster Development Board (WCDB. However, when SPDC divested from some of its assets in 2014/15, Eroton (E&P) Company Limited took over operations in OML 18 which covers Alakiri and Orubiri fields in Okrika. By this arrangement, the new JV and Cluster Board worked hard to deliver this project.
“We thus thank both NNPC and Eroton E&P for their commitment at ensuring that this project is completed. When I say completed, I mean both in structure and equipment. The hall is ready for use and can sit 1500 persons in two conducive halls. There is none like it in Rivers State for now.
“I recall how the king occasionally toured this environment to see the progress of work all this while. Thus, your encouragement and advice were key factors that spurred the board with purpose and commitment to accomplish this. This town hall with facilities in and out of it is self-sustaining. Your Majesty, it is my request that the proper management of this facility should be your interest so that this kingdom derives maximum benefit from it. There are many other projects beyond this that would interest everybody and show how hard the board has worked so far.”
The NNPC GMD, Mele Koko Kyari, represented by Tolulope Derin-Adefuwa of the Public Affairs Department, explained why the NNPC is the main owner of JV CSR projects, saying the corporation brings 55 per cent of project costs which the JV operations partners execute.