Protesters in Nigeria’s Nembe region cordoned off the logistics facility of local oil giant Aiteo Eastern and briefly caused a disruption in its operations, the company said in a statement.
A week earlier, Aiteo had just restarted its Nembe Creek Trunkline, which produces and exports Bonny Light grade of crude, when it was forced to shut down after a fire was ostensibly ignited by vandals and thieves trying to steal oil.
The company said that it had entered into negotiations with the protesters who ultimately agreed to stop barricading its production site and make a formal presentation of demands to the company.
Aiteo said that it remained committed to working with the Nembe community and that in addition to providing services to its hosts, it had also employed local contractors.
Aiteo asked the natives to seek ways to explore dialogue instead of interfering with the company’s daily operations.
“These disturbances disrupt our operations and lead to production deferment, which affects not just the company but revenues accruing to the government and people of Nigeria, ” Aiteo said in a statement.
Protests are a normal occurrence in the Niger-Delta region, which is inhabited by poor communities who feel that oil companies have destroyed their farmlands and polluted their fishing waters without providing any amenities or benefits to natives.
Protesters usually take their complaints to oil communities, most of whom have set up departments to “engage” with host communities.