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58 communities flay FG for omitting them as oil areas in A’ Ibom

By Isaac Jacob

Indigenes of 58 communities drawn from nine local government areas of Akwa Ibom State have queried the federal government for not capturing them as oil bearing in the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) signed by President Mohammedu Buhari recently.

They are Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun, Uyo, Uruan, Abak, Oruk Anam, Nsit Ibom, Ibesikpo Asutan, and Etinan local government areas of the state

This followed the non involvement of the nine (9)LGA areas in the meeting the state Ministry of Power and Petroleum Development held recently with oil and gas producing local government areas in the state on the issue of Petroleum Industry Act(PIA).

Speaking with newsmen in Uyo on Sunday ,Coordinator of Gas pipeline communities of the 9 LGAs Comrade Kufre Emmanson described said non inclusion of the areas in the Act was unacceptable, adding that the Paramount Rulers of the affected Local governments have already written to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on the matter.

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Emmanson, however appealed to the affected council areas to remain calm and wait for state government’s response to the Paramount Rulers’ letter which have notified government of omission of their communities which are hosting the East Horizon Gas Company Limited till date.

His words: “We are demanding for inclusion of the 58 communities in Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun, Uyo, Uruan, Abak, Oruk Anam, Nsit Ibom, Ibesikpo Asutan, and Etinan, local government areas as oil and gas host communities in Akwa Ibom state.

” This is sequel to the meeting held in Uyo last month between the Ministry of Power and Petroleum development Akwa Ibom State, with the oil producing local government areas in Akwa Ibom State, concerning the Petroleum Industry Act without the above nine LGAs

“We are aware that the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 clearly stated that ‘Host communities” are those whose oil and gas pipeline passes their communities and also clearly stated the three percent dividends to Host communities which these 9 Local governments should be part of.

“The East Horizon Gas Company Limited constructed a natural Gas pipeline from Ukanafun that passes through all the nine local governments and terminates in Akansoko in Akpabuyo LGA of Cross River State.

He appealed to the people to remain calm, shun violence, vandalism of government property, and maintain peace in their various communities as the Paramount Rulers have assured that necessary action will be taken legally if the nine council areas are not included as oil and gas producing communities in the state

The Coordinator appreciated the Paramount Rulers from the affected council areas for the confidence reposed in his leadership to handle the issues affecting the oil and gas communities.

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