Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Itsekiri women shut down $800m gas project [Punch]

The new Escravos/Warri Gas Pipeline embarked upon by the Federal Government in Delta State has been shut down by Itsekiri women of Ugborodo Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.

The project being funded by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation/Chevron Joint Venture was designed to produce additional gas for the operation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

Findings by our correspondent revealed that the American energy giant was expected to fund the project to cross the Escravos River while the Nigerian Gas Company, a subsidiary of NNPC, was to sponsor the execution of the project from the creeks of the coastal Popo Community to the Warri base of NGC.

The project was valued at $800m. This includes the cost of procurement of pipes, pig launchers, valves and obligation to contractors.

The women seized the site of the contractors, Zakhem Nigeria Limited and Fenog Nigeria Limited, in the early hours of Saturday. The aggrieved women chased away the workers who were operating on the part of the project being funded by Chevron, Escravos River Crossing Gas Pipeline Project, and took over the place.

It was learnt that about three hundred women had turned the site to temporary abode on Sunday.

The women, including the aged, prevented the contractors from demobilising their equipment, especially drilling rods worth $50m, from the site.

The women were aggrieved that Ugborodo community was not being considered for the provision of electricity even though that the project was meant to enhance the efficiency of PHCN and improve power generation and distribution in the country.

They vowed to frustrate the project unless the Federal Government made a convincing arrangement for a steady electricity supply to the community.

The leader of the women, Mrs. Mercy Olowu, said they embarked on the action because of the insensitivity of the Federal Government, adding that the government had consistently ignored the peaceful overtures of the community for the provision of electricity and other life support facilities in the community over the years.

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