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Akwa Ibom speaker tasks host communities on proposed modular refinery


Aniekan Bassey

Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Aniekan Bassey yesterday charged the Ibikpe, Ikpa and Ikot Oku communities in Uruan Council Area to be united and cooperate to facilitate establishment of the proposed 50,000bpd Modular Refinery in the area.He stated this at the Public Forum/Scooping Workshop on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed refinery, organised by the Rhema COG Energy Development Limited with the Federal Ministry of Environment in Uyo.

Bassey, who was represented by his Press Secretary, Emmanuel Effiong, promised to apply all constitutional means to ensure that the company fulfills all statutory benefits that should accrue to the host communities when fully operational.He said when established, the refinery would boost Governor Udom Emmanuel’s industrialisation policy and appealed for cooperation from the host communities to ensure timely completion of the project, which he noted, would create jobs, not only for Uruan people, but all Akwa Ibom indigenes.

“We have heard of crisis in other places over initiatives like this. Since this company is coming to Uruan, I will do everything within my powers and constitutional means to ensure that you get all the benefits that should accrue to host communities and entire Uruan,” he said.

Speaking, a representative of the Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Uduak John, affirmed that the Federal Government would ensure that the refinery is established in line with relevant legislations.She disclosed that consultations, field analysis, impact evaluation, mitigation and other necessary processes would be thoroughly followed.

Also speaking, Advisor on Safety, Health and Environment, Rhema COG Energy Development Limited, Raphael Tom, who represented the Chairman, said the firm was committed to safety of the communities, adding that it would mitigate all environmental impacts that its activities may cause.

He assured that the company would not only adhere to its operating principles, but would also fulfill its corporate social responsibility (CRS) and, therefore, appealed for cooperation from the villages and other stakeholders.

A representative of the Commissioner for Environment, Paul Okon, said the company would be subjected to strict checks to ensure that all agreements and standards are strictly adhered to.He, however, urged mutual understanding between the company and the communities to avoid unnecessary delay in the establishment of the proposed refinery.


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