Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, says he has halted the misappropriation and embezzlement of funds in Imo State Oil Producing Area Commission, ISOPADEC, which has enabled his government to save over N800million within the shortest possible time.
The Governor, on a visit to Mmahu community in Ohaji/Egbema LGA, said that such funds were meant for the development and growth of the oil communities, regretting that past administrations had fed fat from it to the detriment of the people of the areas.
The governor disclosed this at the palace of the traditional ruler of Mmahu community in Ohaji Egbema local government area while meeting with stakeholders.
He further promised that he will ensure the funds and all the benefits accruing to an oil-producing community including the 13 per cent oil derivation were put to good use.
He urged the people to continue to abide by the government’s policies of developing the state, adding that Ohaji/Egbema and that of Oguta LGA are the fulcra of the state’s economic base.
He reiterated that his administration will continue to ensure that there’s lasting peace in the oil-rich areas of Imo state.
The traditional ruler of Mmahu community, His Royal Highness Eze Austin Iwuogu, in his response, commended the governor for his timely visit to the area, enumerating some of the challenges facing the people of the community.
He appealed for the governor’s quick intervention to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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