People of Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, over the weekend, demanded oil blocks to some indigenes of oil producing areas, as royalty.
This, they said, would cushion adverse effects of oil-producing activities and operations going on in their areas.
This was the position of the community, in a communique issued at the end of one-day stakeholders consultative meeting for sustainable development of the Niger Delta region, organised by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The meeting was attended by traditional rulers, representatives of groups, youths, and other stakeholders who deliberated on the way forward for the commission and their host communities.
NDDC’s Deputy Director for Communnity and Rural Development, Otunba Abosede, represented by Mr Friday Nwachi, in his welcome address, said the meeting would enable the commission to interact with stakeholders for a way forward.
He added that the new NNDC board has started redefining the vision of the commission in a manner that can be of mutual benefit to all.
“There is need for all stakeholders to take care of all our projects, to protect and cherish them at all times”, he said.
Reading the address of the Managing Director, Mr Isima Ekere, Abosede expressed pleasure over the peaceful nature of the people in the oil-producing ares in Abia, and promsied they would not take their peaceful posture for granted.
The eleven-point communique also asked the Commission to dutifully implement budgetary allocation by adopting the subsisting intra-state revenue sharing formula on the basis of 60 percent volume of oil production, 20 percent equality among lgas, 10 percent pipeline communities, and 10 percent oil exploration zones, whether the zone produces oil or not .
It was also agreed that government at both federal and state levels should respect the letter and spirit of extant and enabling NDDC Act 2000, so as to avoid the creation of a lacuna that exists in the present case of Abia State membership of the commission board.
“NDDC should boost agricultural production activities in the Niger Delta region by providing financial support, seedlings and cultivates extension services, value-chain deliverables and sundry incentives to farmers.
The stakeholders also agreed that the commission should dutifully implement the Niger Delta regional development master plan, so as to consciously and conscientiously strengthen community – based institutions like traditional rulers’ council, community development councils, youths & women groups, cooperative societies and other related institutions.
Stakeholders, however, commended the directorate for the laudable initiative, and pledged their maximum cooperation, just as it asked that the meeting be held periodically.
Traditional rulers who attended the meeting were Eze Philip Ajomiwe of Oriendu Autonomous Community, Eze Innocent A. Nwaigwe, Ikenga 11 of Okauhiuga Alike, Eze Charles Dike of isimanu Autonomous Community (Ukwa West), Eze Iheanyichukwu Nwokonna of Ekeoba Autonomous community, Eze Chukwuma Obuoma of isiala item and others.
SOURCE: African Spotlight