Okowa calls for vigilance against pipeline vandals

Posted by Osteen Oyibode, Asaba | 23 July 2015 | 2,500 times

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Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on communities to be vigilant against pipeline vandalism as acts of vandalism are depleting the resources of the state.

He made the call when members of Ukoko R’Ivie R’Urhobo, the umbrella body of government recognised traditional rulers from Delta Central Senatorial District, paid him a congratulatory visit Tuesday at Government House, Asaba. The Governor observed that allocations to the state from the Federation Account was always affected when crude oil from the state are lost due to pipeline vandalism.

He disclosed that in April, 2015, the state lost three million barrels of crude oil as a result of criminal attacks on oil pipelines, noting that as such, revenue accruing to the state as a result of its oil output was reduced.

“I want to say to Deltans that we should be more vigilant against pipleline vandals, they are doing us a lot of disservice because for the indices that has been sent to us, we lost in the month of April alone about three million barrels of oil, it will reflect in this July allocation that will be sent to us. We lost as much as three million barrels that would have been accounted for through Delta State because of that action that happened in April,” he stated, adding: “In the revenue allocation we are going to lose an equivalent of three million barrels that would have come to the state, so, when it comes to the issue of derivation, instead of the eleven million barrels that we were supposed to produce as a state for the month of April, we have about eight million barrels and that definitely is going to affect us so much in the allocation we are going to have this month, so, we pray that our brothers and young ones will try to cooperate with us to ensure that we don’t have such things reoccurring in the future.”

The Governor who took time to explain to the traditional rulers the activities of his administration since inception, said, the amendment bill for the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) which has passed through public hearing was to make the organisation more effective in meeting with the needs of oil producing communities.

According to him, “We are not going to do anything in secrecy, in my inaugural speech, we made it clear that we will strengthen DESOPADEC along the NDDC (Niger Delta Development Commission) pattern, we want to ensure that we have a structured management system that would not be based on ethnic sentiments, the Commissioners from different ethnic nationalities will be members of the Board where they will present issues concerning their ethnic nationalities while the management which is insulated from ethnic politics implements policies reached.

“I insisted on a public hearing so as to get the people’s views which will vastly enrich the bill before it is passed into law, it is left for the House of Assembly after listening to the public to take its own decision and pass a bill that will be in the best interest of Deltans, this I will assent to.”

On the rumoured closure of the Government House Annex, Warri, Governor Okowa debunked the claim, saying that the annex and Governor’s Lodge in Warri were undergoing renovation, observing that the annex remains very important for government activities.

On the suspended civil service recruitment exercise, the Governor explained that the process for the recruitment was faulty, stating: “1, 300 persons were employed towards the end of the last administration with all sorts of scandal that led to the suspension of the Board, the process was wrong and as such, the end result cannot be right, I promise Deltans fairness and justice, I will try to do what is right and just, with the drop in the price of oil, the state cannot even pay its existing workers without overdraft, so, is it right to employ more people?  We must take decision in the best interest of the state without sentiments for the general goods of Deltans.”

“Our critics want to distract us, but I am not distracted, it is important to use this opportunity to remind Deltans that campaign has ended, they should sheath their swords, and work together with government to move the state forward,” he added.

The Governor thanked the traditional rulers for their support for his administration and assured them that he will also carry them and all Deltans along in his activities.

Earlier, the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom, HRM Ovie R. L. Ogbon who is the chairman Ukoko R’Ivie R’Urhobo said they were in Government House to felicitate with Governor Okowa on his electoral victory, saying: “Our dear Governor, your victory is a victory for all Deltans and we rejoice with you.”

“Indeed, this journey to the Government House has no doubt been long and tortuous but we were confident that you would make it, what with your impeccable credentials, admirable track record coupled with our fervent prayers, in all, glory to God almighty who made your victory, our victory, a reality, we identify with you, we look forward to an era of even development of our state which your administration has started and we believe will manifest throughout your tenure,” he said.

•Photo shows pipeline fire.


Source: News Express

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