'Oil has brought us pains', Abia oil-producing communities cry out

Oil- producing communities in Abia State, have lamented that instead of development, crude oil deposits in the area have brought them pains and anguish.

The communities which made the submission at a town hall meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Umuahia regretted that environmental degradation, bad roads, water pollution , ruined farm lands etc have  remained their portion since the advent of oil exploration in their land.

They decried their continued marginalisation in the various packages for Niger Delta region, and called on the federal government to quickly address all the injustices meted out to them. 

They demanded  inclusion in the amnesty programme for the Niger Delta region, warning that the patience of their youths is running out.

In his submission, President of Ukwa Youth Congress, Nwogu Chima regretted that where as oil wells had brought development to other parts of Niger Delta , "in Ukwa land what we have is degradation and poverty".

He demanded the return of contractors to the sites of abandoned NDDC project in the area, regretting the deplorable condition of roads and lack of other basic amenities in the oil- producing communities in the state.

Speaking also, former Senate President and an indigene of the area, Senator Adolph Wabara, said oil- producing communities in the state lacked development , and pleaded with the federal government to give them a sense of belonging.

" The state government is trying but we need federal intervention because we have no development here", Wabara said.

Responding, the Vice President thanked youths from oil- producing communities in Abia for their peaceful disposition which he assured would be handsomely appreciated by the federal government.

Osinbajo who said the federal government was consulting with experts in modular refineries said Asa, the oil- producing area in Abia would benefit from the plan, adding that part of the plan was to convert some illegal refineries in the region  into legitimate ventures.

The Vice President restated the commitment of the federal government to make Abia the " capital of manufacturing in Nigeria", explaining that he had earlier led heads of industrial agencies in the country to Aba in January in pursuit of such goal.

In his remarks, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu expressed sadness at the refusal of oil firms operating in the state to employ the indigenes, a practice he said contrasted the local content pact which recommended that staff levels one to six be recruited from the indigenes.

" No Abia indigene is a staff of the oil firm in Owasa, yet every morning the company uses two coaster with army escort to convey its staff from Port Harcourt. This is part of the agitation of our youth", Ikpeazu fumed.

'Oil has brought us pains', Abia oil-producing communities cry out 'Oil has brought us pains', Abia oil-producing communities cry out Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, March 27, 2017 Rating: 5

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