In May 2018, SPACES FOR CHANGE | S4C held series of consultative meetings with the political and traditional leaders of Akwa Ibom State, especially those from the oil producing communities to sensitize them on the provisions of the latest oil reform statute, the Petroleum Host and Impacted Communities Development Bill 2018. At these meetings, S4C highlighted the implication of the draft legislation for community development as well as the future relations between communities and oil companies operating in their localities. The range of actors S4C consulted comprise state lawmakers, state commissioners, local government chairpersons, women leaders and traditional rulers in Ibeno, Eket, Nsit-Eket, Onna, Ikot Abasi, Eastern Obolo and Esit Eket local governments.
The above-named communities and local governments hold vast amounts of oil minerals and accordingly, host a variety of petroleum facilities and installations ranging from wellheads, pipelines, rigs, marginal fields, storage tanks, offshore and onshore acreages, production and export terminals among others. For instance, Ibeno local government hosts the Qua Iboe terminal operated by ExxonMobil. The company holds 40% interest in the field production mix with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) having the remaining 60%. Exxon Mobil’s oil production currently averages 400kbd, held in about 9 crude oil storage tanks with a total capacity of 4.5 million barrels, loading at about 50,000 barrels per hour.
S4C provided technical assistance to the state representatives and local governments to draft and submit a memorandum on the Bill to the House of Representatives’ Adhoc Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bills. S4C also supported community representatives from oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States to attend the May 16, 2018 public hearing and present the memorandum at the Floor of the National Assembly.