11th December, 2015
Akwa Ibom Government has pledged to encourage oil companies operating in the state to extend their Memorandum of Understanding, MoU beyond their core communities.
The state Commissioner for The Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr Iniobong Essien, made the pledge on Friday .
He made the pledge when members of Oil, Solid Mineral Area Producing Landlords Association of Nigeria (OSMPLAN) paid him a courtesy visit in Uyo.
According to Essien, extending the MoU to coastland and upland and not only the core communities will ensure lasting peace and development of the communities.
He hinted that Total E & P had extended its MoU in the state beyond the core communities to the coastland and upland.
“It is important to remind OSMPLAN that the ministry midwives, without interference to Memorandum of Understanding between oil-bearing communities and the oil companies, the compliance with the stipulated laws and guidelines in oil exploitation.
“The ministry welcomes any organisation wanting to partner the ministry in actualising the vision of the present administration which is anchored on promoting industrialisation and creating employment opportunities in the state.
“Our doors are open to inputs that will engender peaceful co-existence between the organization and the oil companies,” he said.
The commissioner decried the lean financial resources of the state.
Essien commended the association for the visit and said that the Ministry was ever ready to support them through projecting their demands to government and also assisting within the limit of available resources in the state.
Earlier, the Chairman of the association, Dr Edet Attih, said that OSMPLAN’s responsibility was to monitor the oil and gas companies to comply with stipulated laws.
Attih, who was represented by Engr Asuquo Ating, said that the association was also ready to bring the oil companies operating in the state to a round-table discussion with the state government.
He presented a membership form and a copy of the organisation’s brochure to the commissioner and requested him to use his offices to provide the organisation with standard office accommodation.
Captain John Etim, a member of OSMPLAN from Oron Local Government Area, said that the organisation was founded in 2012 by Dr Udo Usugu, a retired Deputy Controller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service.