Delta seeks peace with oil communities to enhance production


Okowa tasks immigration on accurate data of foreigners
The Delta State government has commenced peace talks with oil producing communities to enable the multinational companies to resume production.

The Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Mofe Pirah, disclosed this yesterday in Burutu when he addressed some communities in the area.

Those present at the meeting were representatives of Odimodi, Yokri, Sokebolou, Obotobo and Ogulagha communities.

Pirah, who represented Governor Ifeanyi Okowa explained that the initiative was to complement the Federal Government’s efforts to restore peace in the Niger Delta.

He said the insecurity in the region was responsible for the stunted growth in most of the oil and gas-bearing communities in the state.

“Several companies have relocated from the areas in recent times. The only reason they gave was that the environment was no longer safe for them to operate, adding that their workers were being kidnapped and equipment vandalised,” he said.

He explained that in the last two years, the state had witnessed a decline in oil production due to the insecurity in the oil producing communities.

He said the problem led to a “drop in production from 600, 000 barrels per day to about about 200, 00,” adding that oil revenue had also reduced from N6billion monthly to about N1.5billion.

According to the commissioner, the emergency situation at hand was to create an enabling environment for the return of these multinational companies.

He said there must be synergy among the development partners to address the poverty in the land and grow the socio-economic sectors in the communities.

Pirah disclosed that his ministry and the office of the state attorney general and commissioner for justice had been mandated to hold regular dialogue with the communities.

The Special Adviser to the governor on Niger Delta, Kelly Penawou, Vice Chairman of Burutu Local Council, Samuel Peremoke, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Political Affairs, Godknows Angele also attended the meeting.

They stressed the need for the oil companies to contribute to the development of their host communities.

Meanwhile, the governor has urged the Nigerian Immigration Service to provide accurate data of foreigners in the state to enhance revenue generation.

He made the call in Asaba when the comptroller in the state’s command, Mr. Baba Ali Zakari, visited him in his office.

He urged him to update the state board of internal revenue service to ensure that revenue from expatriates were not lost. Zakari commended the governor for his assistance to the service.

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