Akam James, Yenagoa
The management of Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company has bemoaned the frequent sabotage of the 97 kilometre Nembe Creek Trunkline linking its oilfields in Bayelsa state to the Bonny Export Terminal.
Managing Director of Aiteo, Mr. Victor Okoronkwo, expressed the concern of the oil firm during a fund raising ceremony for the Bayelsa Educational Development Trust Fund in Yenagoa.
It will be recalled that the 150,000 barrels per day export pipeline which evacuates crude oil from Bayelsa for export has been shut down intermittently three times since March and is currently shut due to another breach on April 21 which led to death of six vandals.
Okoronkwo, who represented the founder of Aiteo Group, Benedict Peters pledged a N500 million donation to the education trust fund, declaring that Aiteo shares the aspirations of the Bayelsa state government under Gov. Seriake Dickson to use education as a tool to fight youth restiveness.
He noted that the oil firm was elated at the pledge of the state government to provide an enabling environment for the operations of the oil firm.
“I wish to state here that our business as operators of the OML 29 has not been stable, it has been up and down and we are pleased by the assurances given by the Bayelsa government; we are being hosted by Bayelsa and we see Bayelsa as home.
“We are here to stay and we want the people to understand that oil and gas investments are for the long term,” Okoronkwo stated.
Speaking earlier, Gov. Seriake Dickson said that his administration had invested about N80 billion in the education sector from 2012 till date and initiated the fund in 2017 to ensure that the fund was sustained beyond his tenure.
He explained that the state government dedicates 10 per cent of its monthly internally generated revenue to the education fund, in addition to the monthly contributions by public servants in the state.
Speaking earlier, Prof. Turner Isoun, a former minister of science and technology, who is the chairman of fund said that the fund already has over N1billion under its management.
“I wish to state that the request I made while accepting to serve the fund that government should not interfere with the running of this fund has been heeded to the later and I report that our books are open.
“We adopted a transparent approach and what we have seen is a blend of the public interest of the public sector and the efficiency of the private sector working together to uplift education in Bayelsa,” Isoun said.