By DESTINY Isinwa
In a bid to achieve effective representation and end untold hardship among the people of Ohaji/Egbema LGA, the Imo State House of Assembly Member representing Ohaji-Egbema State Constituency Hon. Cyriacus Heclus Okoro has raised his voice at the floor of the hallowed chamber in a motion to end lack of electricity in Ohaji-Egbema LGA.
The legislator on Thursday 11th July 2019 moved a motion titled “a motion on denial of accrual benefits especially electric power supply by oil exploration and production companies for host and impacted communities in Ohaji/Egbema LGA, especially NPDC”.
Okoro in his motion stated that “WHEREAS The petroleum industry reforms on the petroleum host and impacted communities development trust as enacted by National Assembly, with the objective to provide direct social and economic benefits from petroleum operations to hosts and impacted communities.
“Hence a harmonious coexistence between E&P companies on one hand and host and impacted communities on the other hand. AWARE that so many Memorandum of Understanding (MOU’s) have been reached prior to these projects, (GAS PLANT, BASE, OIL WELLS-DRILLING, OIL TRUCKINGS ETC) either before or after environmental impact assessment, Wherein the provisions of social amenities and public utilities where agreed upon.
“NOTING that the supposed projects as accrual benefits for the hosts and Impacted communities, (Drinking Water, Electric Power Supply, Good Roads, employment, ETC), Which are to be executed by Indigenous or foreign contractors as enshrined in the respective MoU’s.
“OBSERVING that our sister oil host communities enjoy these dexter projects, as hosts and Impacted communities, for example AGIP to Okwuzi, Mgbede and Aggah ETC. Whereas NPDC, SHELL, ADAXX, STARLING-GLOBAL, WALTER SMITH, SEPLAT Have failed in these regards.
“WORRISOME that these projects that has eluded the deserving communities, has immensely affected their standard of living. Hence the growth of Socio-Economic vices which In-turn has jeopardized the lives of the Citizens/Indigenes. Be it REVOLVED by this Honourable House to urgently constitute an ADHOC Committee to:
“1.Review and oversee the overdue benefits/projects accrued to the people of OHAJI/EGBEMA.
- Review and update the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU’s) between the people of OHAJI/EGBEMA and oil exploration and product companies.
- Review and address projects without proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA’s) with OHAJI/EGBEMA area”.
Seconding the motion, Hon. Eddy Obinna of Aboh Mbaise State constituency deposited that the motion deserves urgent attention while Hon. Uju Onwudiwe of Njaba called on Imo State government to embark on adequate measures against oil companies in the State, adding that IMHA must act quickly to enable oil companies meet up to its social responsibilities.
Hon. Chigozie Nwaneri of Oru East called on the legislators to visit Ohaji-Egbema LGA in order to ascertain the unspeakable level of suffering the people are undergoing due to oil exploration in the LGA which has destroyed the productive land of Ohaji-Egbema and its neighbouring communities including Oru East LGA.
Hon. Anukam Solomon of Owerri Municipal condemned the habit of oil companies in Imo State especially on the areas of deceiving the host communities by failure to fulfill the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU’s) as being agreed and subjecting Ohaji-Egbema people into hardship by denying them electricity, drinking water, employment, security, road network and various basic amenities.
Others that supported the motion included Hon. Paschal Okolie of Orlu State Constituency, Arthur Egwim of Ideato North, Engr. Duru Iheonukara of Ideato South, Hon. Ngozi Obiefule of Isu State Constituency and Hon. Ezerioha Dominic of Oru West State constituency who defended the importance of the motion in order to eliminate poverty in Ohaji-Egbema LGA.
Meanwhile, the speaker Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins sustained Hon. Cyriacus Heclus Okoro’s prayers and an ad-hoc committee led by Hon. Heclus Okoro was constituted to report back to the House on 25th July 2019.