Aiteo laments frequent vandalism of its oilfield trunkline, pledges N500m support to Bayelsa education fund

Posted by News Express | 25 May 2019 | 1,635 times

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•Aiteo MD Victor Okoronkwo

The management of Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company on Friday bemoaned the frequent sabotage on the 97-kilometre Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) linking its oilfields in Bayelsa to the Bonny Export Terminal.

Managing Director of the company, Mr. Victor Okoronkwo, expressed the concern of the oil firm during a fund raising ceremony for the Bayelsa Educational Development Trust Fund (BEDTF) 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 for three times since March and is currently shut due to breach on April 21 which led to death of six suspected vandals.

Okoronkwo, who represented the founder of Aiteo Group, Benedict Peters, pledged the company’s support of N500 million to BEDTF.

Aiteo, he said, shares the aspirations of the Bayelsa government under Governor Seriake Dickson to use education as a tool to fight youth restiveness and hence the donation.

He noted that the oil firm was elated at the pledge of the Bayelsa government to provide an enabling environment for the operations of the indigenous 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 investment is for the long term,” Okoronkwo stated.

Speaking earlier, Governor Dickson said that his administration had invested about N80billion in the education sector from 2012 till date and initiated the fund in 2017 to ensure that the fund was sustained beyond his tenure in 2020.

He explained that the state government dedicates 10 per cent of its monthly internally generated revenue to the BEDTF in addition to monthly contributions by all public servants in the state.

Speaking earlier, Prof Turner Isoun, a former Minister of Science and Technology and Chairman of BEDTF said that the fund already has over N1 billion under its management and runs it in a transparent manner with its books open to external auditing.

“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.

Source: News Express

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