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Okowa flays oil firms for neglect of host communities

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• Another strange disease kills three persons in Delta

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has decried non-implementation of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by some oil companies operating in the state, resulting in neglect of their host communities.

He expressed displeasure with the development when he received the youths of Ndokwa led by their President-General, Anslem Nzete, in Asaba yesterday.
Okowa said he was disappointed at some of the companies for failing to partner the state government to develop the host communities in spite of the peace they enjoy in their domains.

The governor stated that apart from Energia Limited that has been doing a few things for its host community, the others hardly keep to their MoUs, saying the development was not fair.

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He, however, assured that he would put pressure on the firms to look into the Okpai Road and other infrastructure needs of the area, saying: “If we have taken the bridge project, which is a major aspect from them, they should show signs of partnership to take up some other aspects. If they fail to do that, we will put them under pressure.”

On marginal oil fields, Okowa stated that no stone would be left unturned in ensuring that the people were not short-changed in the process, adding: We know that the current quantum cannot be what it used to be 10 years ago.

“So, it is important that we take note of that. I think the various changes they have been making in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) contributed to why they have not responded to us.”

He reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to completion of the Kwale Industrial Park (KIP) in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the state had approved funds to pay compensations for the land.

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Speaking, Nzete urged Governor Okowa to prevail on the oil companies to stop using divide-and-rule tactics to marginalise their host communities, lamenting that Okpai Community had no road in spite of being home to several oil facilities and a gas plant. Nzete warned that the peaceful disposition of Ndokwa youths should not be taken for cowardice.

MEANWHILE, another strange disease has hit Ekuku-Agbor Community in Ika South Council Area, killing three youths on Wednesday. The deceased were said to have died from the strange ailment after testing positive for yellow fever, while those affected by the disease were rushed to a nearby hospital in the community.

Confirming the deaths, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, said they were diagnosed of yellow fever just as it was experienced at Ute-Okpu, Idumesa and Ute-Erumu communities some weeks ago in Ika North East Council Area where no fewer than 30 persons died from a strange ailment.

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