Being Text Of A Joint Presser Held Saturday April 17, 2021 By The Presidents Of UYC And INYC On The Intrigues Surrounding The Non - Operation Of Osubi Airstrip In Delta State.
Gentlemen of the Press
BEING TEXT OF A JOINT PRESSER HELD SATURDAY APRIL 17, 2021 BY THE PRESIDENTS OF URHOBO YOUTH COUNCIL, UYC AND ITSEKIRI NATIONAL YOUTHS COUNCIL, INYC, ON THE INTRIGUES SURROUNDING THE NON-OPERATION OF OSUBI AIRSTRIP IN OKPE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE
Gentlemen of the Press
We are indeed saddened that despite statements credited to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika last month, announcing approval for the reopening of Osubi Airstrip, near Warri in Delta State for daylight operations, there is nothing concrete to suggest that the purported announcement would be backed by action. In-fact, the unfolding intrigues remind us of the festering face-off between aviation service providers and the management of Osubi Airstrip.
We want to recall with regret, the letter by the Federal Government to all the aviation parastatals, terminating the contract of Shoreline Oil Services Limited, the operator of the Airstrip, citing alleged incompetence.
The facility has been a subject of controversy since it changed hands from the original owner, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to Shoreline in partnership with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2015. Apparently unable to get the private operator to comply with the provisions of the service providers, some parastatals had written to the government to revoke the contract of Shoreline.
The Federal Ministry of Aviation Safety and Technical Policy Department, in a letter dated, February 7, 2020 and signed by its Director, Captain T. Alkali, directed the Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Director-General Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), to carry out the termination of Shoreline’s contract seamlessly.
SPDC opened the facility in 1999, to enhance offshore operations. With the dip in oil exploration over a period, the Airstrip was sold to Shoreline and NNPC in 2015.
NAMA, in October 2018, had alleged that Shoreline owed over N500million for air navigation services since 2015. Shoreline described NAMA’s claim as ‘frivolous charges’ and an attempt to keep extorting its management.
The thrust of this Press Briefing, is not to delve into the technical issues of ownership and alleged incompetence, but to draw the attention of our political representatives as well as the relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, to the multi-million naira decaying Airstrip. This is because the rotting SPDC Office Complex, opposite Federal Government College, Warri, has continued to create sore memory in our hearts. We will no longer fold our arms and allow more critical socio-economic infrastructures, capable of creating wealth and thousands of jobs in our state to fallow, amid dwindling economic fortunes. Even the most illiterate person would acknowledge that the continous non - operation of flight and other commercial activities at the Osubi Airstrip, have negative economic consequences on people of Delta State and the revenue profile of the State Government.
· We are calling on the Federal and Delta State Governments, the Deputy Senate President, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege, the member representing Okpe, Sapele and Uvwie Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Efe Afe, the Member Representing Warri Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, other critical stakeholders and the relevant MDAs to immediately commence process for resumption of flight operations at the Osubi Airstrip!
* If urgent action is not taken to ensure that flight and other economic activities resume at the Osubi Airstrip within 14 days from today, we will not hesitate to ground major sources of revenue to the country, so as to drive home our legitimate demand.
Comrade Enerho Godspower
Comrade Weyinmi Agbateyiniro