The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Limited says it is ready to commence production in abandoned oil wells to the benefit of community and the country.

according to a statement signed on Tuesday by Garba Deen Muhammad, Group General Manager (Public Affairs), NNPC, the Managing Director of NPDC, Mohammed AliZarah, spoke at an event by the Ogoni Liberation Initiative.

Alizarah said that the company understood the concerns and yearnings of the Ogoni people and shared in their pain.

According to him, the NPDC and the Federal Government (FG) would work with the communities to ensure their environment was remediated and the activities not impact negatively on their environment but bring them development, employment and growth.

He said the organisation of the event by the Ogoni Liberation Initiative and the turn-up of various people including traditional rulers, youths and women had buoyed the confidence of the company.

This, he described as ‘an act of love and solidarity’.

“Indeed, this is a clear testimonial and demonstration of a strong cordial relationship that has existed between us over the years.

“This, for us is our social licence to operate in this peace loving community,’’ he said.

Mr AliZarah observed that it was in the best collective national interest of the country to speedily restore the environment of Ogoniland, and create the needed condition for the social economic development of the communities.

Earlier, the Convener and leader of the Ogoni Liberation Initiative, organisers of the event, Douglas Fabeke said the Ogoni people welcomed with great joy the intervention of the FG and the takeover of the oil exploration sites by NPDC following the judgement of the Appeal Court in Abuja.

He described the judgment and subsequent takeover of the sites by NPDC as liberation for the Ogoni people.

According to him, the people of Ogoni have looked forward to the freedom over the years.

He assured the FG that the people of Ogoni would support all efforts aimed at restoring and exploring its huge natural resources for the benefit of the people.