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Rep insists on commission for oil producing communities in A’Ibom



From Bassey Anthony, Uyo (Culled from the Nation).


The lawmaker representing Eket/Esit Eket/Onna/Ibeno federal constituency in the National Assembly, Pat Ifon has restated the need for the creation of special commission for oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom State.

Ifon said such a commission, to be called Oil Producing Communities Development Commission, was necessary in order to address the peculiar human and infrastructural development needs and challenges of oil-bearing areas in the state.

He said his federal constituency comprising Eket, Esit Eket, Onna and Ibeno is major source of crude oil earnings for Akwa Ibom and Nigeria as a whole.

Ifon, who addressed reporters yesterday, lamented that his constituency has not be fairly treated despite being the highest producer of crude oil in the country.

He said: “ExxonMobil, which has Its operation base in my constituency, is the highest producer of crude oil in the country with over 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day. We also have condensate of natural gas, over 90 offshore platforms from the Qua Iboe terminal operations comprising 300 producing oil wells.

“Unfortunately it has become a global embarrassment that as a major producing area we have been relegated and barred from benefiting from our God-given resources so we call on the federal government to urgently address the injustice.”

Ifon insisted on a holistic implementation of the Local Content Law, adding that the IOCs and oil servicing companies have denied employment to indigenes of the area over flimsy reasons.

Ifon said that the insistence by the Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR) that youths of the area must pay certain fees to get Ita certification before they could be given employment in oil companies was wrong.

He said: “The issue of DPR charging our youths money to get it’s certification before they could be employed in oil companies is totally unacceptable and I am going to team up with my colleagues in the National Assembly to ensure that the charges are stopped.

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