In the dynamic landscape of the oil and gas industry, few companies have faced as many challenges and controversies as Neconde Energy Ltd, a prominent independent oil and gas firm with significant stakes in developed oil fields and gas reserves located in the Niger Delta. Neconde Energy Ltd has also proudly served as a Joint Venture partner of the NNPC Exploration and Production Limited (NEPL) on the OML 42 Oil Asset for over a decade. Today, we stand firm in setting the records straight and addressing allegations that have cast a shadow on our commitment to the communities in the Niger Delta.
At Neconde Energy Ltd, we firmly believe that remaining silent in the face of baseless allegations is not an option. We uphold the principles of transparency and accountability, and when our dedication to the host communities in the Niger Delta is questioned, we feel compelled to respond. The recent allegations, propagated under the guise of investigative journalism by a blog called FocalPoint Reports, accuse Neconde Energy Ltd of impoverishing its host communities in the Niger Delta.
In our response, we assert that these allegations are not only false but also unfortunate. We firmly believe that they are the product of blackmailers who seek to tarnish our reputation. In the spirit of setting the records straight, we will address these allegations with transparency and precision.
Our Commitment to Transparency and Development
Neconde Energy Ltd takes pride in managing the OML 42 oil asset as a joint venture partner of the NNPC Exploration and Production Limited (NEPL) for over 12 years. We acknowledge that the truth about OML 42 is self-evident to anyone reasonably informed about the situation in the Niger Delta. However, the audaciousness of Ezekiel Kagbala (FocalPoint Reports) and the hidden backers of his publications, in their relentless effort to misinform the public, necessitates a detailed response to safeguard our reputation and the interests of the host communities.
We want to make it unequivocally clear that we maintain a zero-tolerance policy for corruption in the management of the asset. We are committed to the transparent execution of developmental programs, including the full implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), for the benefit of the host communities. Money allocated for community development will be used exclusively for that purpose, ensuring it does not end up in private hands. This is our unwavering stance.
PIA and Host Community Development
The Nigerian Petroleum Industry Act of 2021 has introduced provisions aimed at fostering social and economic development and promoting cooperation between host communities and petroleum asset operators. It mandates settlors, such as NEPL for OML 42, to make an annual contribution to the relevant community amounting to 3% of the actual operating expenditure from the previous year in the upstream petroleum operation that affects the community. However, the non-implementation of this law for the development of the OML 42 community rests with the accountable managers employed by NNPC Exploration and Production Limited (NEPL).
Despite these challenges, Neconde Energy Ltd proactively invested significant resources in the development of OML 42. Even before the enactment of the PIA, we funded the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) implementation. This commitment helped sustain peace bonuses that supported the payment of allowances to teachers in OML 42 communities, electrification projects, riverine school boats for primary schools, and the training of community workers who have since become skilled Exploration and Production (E&P) field professionals in OML 42, among other initiatives.
Denouncing False Reports
We categorically denounce the reports that accuse us of “greed-driven contract racketeering in collusion with certain elements.” The community leadership, opinion leaders, and responsible members of the community have also publicly condemned and distanced themselves from these false reports. At Neconde Energy Ltd, we remain unwavering in our commitment to doing what is right, upholding our core values, and serving the interests of both the host communities and our stakeholders.
The sustained campaign of blackmail against private investors and institutions will not deter us from our mission. We call on the public to disregard the falsehood being peddled by those who stand against the principles of truth and integrity. In closing, we reiterate our commitment to transparency, community development, and ethical business practices.