Delta Abolishes Illegal Devt Levies

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State
Jethro Ibileke/Asaba

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has disclosed that plans were under way to abolish illegal collection of development levies by communities from oil companies and property developers.

The governor disclosed this on Wednesday at the commissioning of an ultra-modern Civic Centre, Ugborhen, Sapele local government area of the state.

He noted that illegal collection of development levies, popularly known as ‘deve’, has hampered the growth of many communities​ and has also increased the cost of executing projects by individuals, government and private organisations.

He stated that plans were in top gear by his administration to sponsor an Executive Bill to the State Assembly to give legislative backing for the abolition of these illegal levies.

“This community must have given the contractors the enabling environment to carry out the projects.

“We will soon send a Bill to the House of Assembly to ban all forms of “deve” which has impacted negatively on the cost of projects including government and private projects.

“I am convinced that very soon Ugborhen will no longer be a village with the kind of projects here,” Okowa said.

The governor commended the exemplary partnership between Seplat Petroleum Development Company and Ugborhen community, just as he urged other oil companies to emulate the partnership.

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“I am glad to see partnership like this between oil prospecting companies and their host communities. The job of government will be much lighter if oil companies and communities partner in this manner to develop our communities,” he noted.

He advised the management of Seplat to harken to the request of the people of the community by providing employment for the youths of the area in line with the constitution.

Okowa who thanked members of Ugborhen community for providing a peaceful environment for investors to thrive, called on other oil producing communities to partner with oil companies in the development of their areas.

Commenting on the project, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, Orhue I, thanked Governor Okowa for his developmental strides across the state.

The traditional ruler who commended Seplat for the various projects which he acknowledged have transformed the landscape of the community, called on the oil company to provide employment opportunities for both skilled, semi-skilled members of the community.

In his speech, the Managing Director of Seplat Petroleum Limited Engr. Austin Avuru, said the company was proud of the community for being good partners in the last 6years of their operations in the area.

Earlier, the Governor had on arrival at the community inspected the Elume-Ugboren road construction project being executed by his administration.

He also commissioned a 13.6 kilometres township road network, a solar-powered water project, two blocks of four classrooms with a science laboratory at Abaka Grammar School, and a Civic Centre in Ugborhen Community executed by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc in partnership with the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and the Ugborhen Community Development Committee.

Also present at the event were the Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Monday Igbuya and other top government functionaries.

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