The Offshore Memorandum of Understanding (OMOU)

Introduction

The OMoU is a legal and comprehensive agreement between Chevron and clusters of coastal communities within its area of operation. It is a participatory partnership model that also involves the relevant state governments and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

The OMoU is basically a working agreement that highlights Chevron business activities within the area, benefits it offers the communities and the terms of the relationship over an agreed period. It details how Chevron relates with these coastal communities to help advance the goal of engendering peace, self reliance and sustainable development in the Niger Delta. The Offshore Memorandum of Understanding (OMoU) covers the range of all Chevrons’ activities within the clusters of communities numbering over 100. It is implemented by the three Coastal Community Development Committees (CCDCs) - Itsekiri, Ijaw and IIaje – to promote governance and accountability principles articulated in the document.

Historical Background:

The Offshore Memorandum of Understanding (OMoU) was conceived and first introduced by Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) in 2004 with the aim to sustain cordial relationship with the constituent communities and thereby help in securing social license for its operations. It represents the first MoU between Chevron and a group of communities around its operations, and was first developed in response to the communal crisis that erupted in the Western Niger Delta in 2003 that culminated in the shutdown of CNL Swamp operations and the exposure of her offshore operations. In the wake of growing incidence of community youths’ demand for “settlement” by CNL contractors before contract execution, the OMoU became a veritable instrument to eliminate and reduce incessant disruption and invasion of CNL offshore operations.

In 2011, CNL signed new OMoUs with the clusters of Ijaw, Itsekiri communities and the Delta State Government as well as a group of Ilaje coastal communities and the Ondo State government and in the process introduced governance principles similar to those under which the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with CNL’s onshore communities operate.

Objectives:

The objectives of the OMoU include:

  • Participatory partnership: That is involving all stakeholders to promote development and absolute peace.
  • Transparency and accountability: This implies that the chief drivers of the process must be open and accountable to all stakeholders.
  • Capacity Building:  Initiate programs that could assist communities to develop capacity to own and manage developmental programs.
  • Safety, Security and Rule of Law: Establish effective peace building mechanism following the rule of law and Chevron Way values to promote safe and secure environment.
  • Community Empowerment and Sustainable Development: Addressing economic empowerment and sustainable livelihood of the communities under the OMoU.

The OMoU Communities:

The OMoU communities are grouped under the three ethnic groups - Itsekiri, Ijaw and IIaje- within CNL’s operational areas in the Western Niger Delta. These include the Concerned Itsekiri Coastal Dwellers (CICD); the Gbaramatu, Egbema, Ogulagha Coastal Community Front (GEOCCF) – both of Delta State; and the Amalgamation of Ilaje Ugbo Coastal Communities Association (AMAICOMMA) of Ondo State.

Implementation Organ:

The Coastal Communities Development Committees (CCDCs) established across the ethnic lines: Itsekiri CCDC; Ijaw CCDC and IIaje CCDC are the implementing organs for the OMOU. They are designed to function in similar manner to the Regional Development Committees (RDC) of the GMoU and are responsible for the day-to-day management of the OMoU.

Governance Model:

The OMoU provides for committees whose members are drawn from all the stakeholder groups (Communities, Chevron, NGOs and the relevant state governments) to guarantee transparency.

Upcoming Events

  • CICD On-boarding training
  • Communication Sub-committee meeting
  • Communication Sub-committee meeting with RDCs/CCDC communication reps
  • IBRM Sub-committee meeting 
  • IBRM Sub-committee meeting with RDCs/CCDCs  Resource Mobilisation Committee reps
  • Gender Sub-committee meeting 
  • GFPs' Quarterly meeting
  • M & E Sub-committee meeting 
  • Peace Building Sub-committee meeting  
  • Support for RDCs on Communication activities
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