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Mbo Lawmaker Canvasses Oil Status For Oro


The member representing Mbo State Constituency, Mr Effiong Johnson, is worried that his people have been negatively impacted by the effects of oil exploration in Oro.

To this end, Mr Johnson says that he will continually engage relevant authorities until Oro communities are included and recognized as oil producing and oil- bearing vis-a-vis host communities and catchment area.

Mr Johnson stated this in Uyo while fielding questions from newsmen on the rationale behind his recent motion on the floor of the house.

The legislator lamented the effects of oil production in Oro communities, saying it has not just destroyed the environment but was also causing life-threatening illnesses.

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“I am going to carry on the fight because my people are suffering due to the oil exploration effects in the communities. This oil drilling has destroyed houses and the road network has also been affected because of these activities by the oil companies.”

He listed communities where oil explorations are being carried out in the area to include: Oron, Udung Uko, Mbo, Okobo and Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Areas.

It will be recalled that the legislator recently in a motion he titled “Non-inclusion and Non-recognition of Oro Communities as Oil Producing and Oil- bearing Communities in Akwa Ibom State”, highlighted many advantages the area lost while still bearing the consequences of continuous oil exploration.

In the motion, the Mbo Lawmaker went down memory lane to about six years ago and graphically explained his experience of oil he saw in the area.

He said although compensation was paid to the five affected local government areas while ExxonMobil also empowered some persons to purchase fishing nets, he questioned why compensation and empowerment were given to the people if they were not hosting ExxonMobil as alleged in some quarters.

He said he decided to bring up the matter before the House to avert further demonstrations by people of the five local government areas of Oro and prayed Gov Udom Emmanuel to cause to take effect the National Assembly’s resolution which recognised the Oro communities as oil producing communities.

This, he said, reflected in the report of the joint committees that were considered by the National Assembly and communicated to the Presidency in 2012.

Johnson explained that the agitation dates back to the commencement of oil exploration in Oro communities many years ago with the attendant environmental degradation and health hazards which the people have suffered.

He also prayed the Governor to set up a committee to work jointly with the House Committee on Petroleum and that of Environment to enumerate petroleum hosts and impacted communities in the state and afterwards forward the report to the House.

He said this will serve as a guiding document to enable the house set legislative machinery in motion to capture these communities so that they can also access benefits as oil producing areas.

Another aspect of his prayer was that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) be conducted so that host communities can be equated with the right development index to suit international best practices, for appropriate ministries and agencies to closely monitor the activities of the oil companies.

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