From Ameachi Prosper( The New Diplomat’s Delta State Correspondent)
Governor Ifeanyi Of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa has decried what he called the non-implementation of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by some oil companies operating in Delta state, stressing that his administration may be compelled to device measures to pressurize them to do so.
Okowa who expressed his displeasure with the development when he received the youths of Ndokwa led by their President-General, Comrade Anslem Nzete, at Government House, Asaba.
He said that he was disappointed with the conduct of “some of Oil companies in Delta state for failing to partner the government to develop host communities in spite of the peace in the communities.”
According to Okowa, apart from Energia that has an MOU and has been doing a few things that he has been visible, other oil firms hardly keep to the terms of their MOU, saying this is not fair.
He assured that he would put pressure on the firms to look into the issue of Okpai road and other infrastructural matters in Ndokwa area, adding that “if we have taken the bridge project which is a major aspect, from them, they should be able to show signs of partnership to take up some other actions.”
He added: “If they fail to, then we will also know what to do to put them under pressure.”
On marginal oil fields, the governor stated that no stone would be left unturned in ensuring that the people were not short-changed in the process, adding that the state government has written to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to provide it with the current oil production quantum of the state, and was awaiting response.
He said: “We know that the current quantum cannot be what it used to be 10 years ago. So, it’s important that we take note of that. I think that the various changes they have been making in the DPR have led to the reason why they have not responded to us…
“Although we have been slowed down totally by COVID-19 and I hope we are able to get out of the current moment, we are going to take some initial steps on our own and the first thing we are trying to do now is to quickly see how we can settle by paying compensation for the land acquired which process is to start very soon.
“I’m sure that as much as possible we will try to deal with all of that before the end of December; so that we can progress to the next stage in 2021.”
On the Umusadege/Benekuku dispute, Okowa said that the state government was studying a court judgement on the subject matter.
He commended the youths for their peaceful disposition towards issues affecting them and assured them that some of the matters canvassed by them would be given prompt and positive attention.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Nzete, had urged the governor to prevail on the oil companies operating in Ndokwa to stop using divide-and-rule tactics to marginalise host communities.
He said that Okpai community has no road in spite of being host to several oil facilities, including a gas plant.
Nzete warned that the peaceful disposition of Ndokwa youths should not be taken for cowardice.