GOVERNOR Willie Obiano of Anambra State, has reassured the people of Ogwu-Aniocha and Ogwu-Ikpele of his commitment to improving their living standards.
He gave the assurance during an interactive meeting with community leaders from both communities organized by the Anambra State Oil and Gas Development Committee, held at the Ogbaru Local Government Secretariat Atani.
Governor Obiano said he has visited the places where Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited is conducting gas and oil exploration in both Communities.
Represented by the Special Adviser on Legal and Petroleum Matters, Mrs. Patricia Igwebuike, Obiano assured them that Anambra State Oil and Gas Development Committee is working tirelessly to ensure that Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited formalizes its operations in the State, as a way of addressing the immediate needs of the people in all the Communities and advised them to be united in the struggle.
The Transition Committee Chairman for Ogbaru Local Government Area, Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu who traced how he discovered the oil company in March 2016 operating without the knowledge of the host communities and Anambra State government.
He explained that the Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited, moved into locations in Ogwu-ikpele and has linked up pipes from their locations in Ogwu-Aniocha to Ogwu-Ikpele and across the River Niger to Okpai in Delta State.
Hon. Awogu further said that the people of Ogbaru are fully in support of steps taken by the State government in compelling Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited to follow the ethical practices guiding the oil industry to ensure that the communities benefit from the oil derivations accruing to the State.
The Chairman, Anambra State Oil and Gas Development Sub-Committee, Professor Charles Ofoegbu who read out the communiqué issued at the end of stakeholders meeting in Abuja to include repair and restoration of devastation caused to the environment by Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited, immediate conclusion of the environmental impact assessment of Enyie and Amechi Fields in Anambra State, the need for Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to fully regularize its presence in Anambra State through environmental impact assessment process supervised by the Federal Ministry of Environment among others.
The traditional ruler of Ogwu-aniocha, Igwe Oliver Nnaji expressed satisfaction with the steps taken so far by the Anambra State government calling on those sabotaging the community to retrace their steps while that of Ogwu-Ikpele, Igwe Chukwuka Onyema represented by Mr. Valentine Emodi commended the Committee for their efforts.
The interactive session attracted people from the community including the Clergy, Councillors, Presidents-General, among others.
BY SUNNY A. DAVID