Imo engages 250 youths to safeguard communities
In its determination to safeguard oil communities in the state, the Imo State Government, yesterday in Owerri, said it has engaged about 250 youths in the oil- rich Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Local Councils, to safeguard humans and infrastructure in the communities that make up the two councils.
The Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations), Government House, Owerri, Kingsley Uju, an engineer, while receiving a group of media practitioners from the local councils, led by Mr. Chukwuemeka Ike, maintained that the state government had not remained docile in providing amenities in the oil bearing communities in the state, adding that about 10,000 persons from communities would be employed when the industrial park sited in the areas takes off.
He also disclosed that the state government paid electricity bills of the consumers in the communities to the tune of about N500, 000 to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), from May 2015 through May, 2016, while a whopping sum of N500 million Empowerment Fund was disbursed to the youths of the communities last year.
In spite of the dwindling state of the economy, Governor Okorocha provided N500 million as empowerment to Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta youths, constructed ISOPADEC office complex, and now building the Maritime University at Osemoto community.’’
The state equally engaged 250 youths to provide security for Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta under the umbrella of Niger Delta Security Outfit’’, he said.Uju who was the acting managing director of ISOPADEC between May 2015 and May 2016 blamed non-availability of electricity in the area on Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to supply light to the people.
He said the operations of the Imo State Oil Producing Area Commission (ISOPADEC), were monitored and strengthened by the government.
Dwindling economic situation, he said, affected the state’s inflow of finances, urging the media to publicise more, the activities of the state government.
In his submission, the leader of the group, Ike, said they were concerned about what goes on in the area, reminding the state government about its commitment based on the federal 13 per cent derivation fund to the communities, regretting that they were yet to see the impact. He enjoined the state government to step up developmental activities in the communities affected.
“Our investigations show that a lot of communities in Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta areas are currently in total darkness due to non-payment of electricity bill by the Imo State Oil Producing Area Commission (ISOPADEC).
We are equally concern that ISOPADEC and government are not doing much to uplift the people of our communities especially in the area of infrastructure provision and empowerment.”