By Dan Gumm
WARRI—Newly appointed Chairman of Itsekiri Oil and Gas Producing/Impacted Communities Development Committee, IRDC, Mr. Ayirimi Emami has decried the neglect of 23 Itsekiri oil producing communities by the Ministry of Niger Delta, NDDC, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission as well as other relevant government agencies.

Mr. Emami who spoke to newsmen during a three-day familiarisation tour of the 23 oil producing communities under IRDC, said his administration is poised to ensure that all contracts awarded by IRDC and other agencies saddled with development oil producing communities are completed.

He called for increased funding of the IRDC and stressed the need for both the federal and state governments to embark on massive infrastructural development and shore protection of the oil bearing Itsekiri communities to save them from being wiped out by ocean surge.

While calling on the Ministry of Niger Delta, NDDC and DESOPADEC to commence immediate shore protection, land reclamation and sand filling of the 23 communities, the new IRDC boss commended Chevron for its funding, stressing that the only visible projects found in the coastal communities are those executed by the IRDC despite the huge contributions of the communities to the nation’s economy.

Chairman of Tebu Community Trust, Mr. Charles Okotie in an address, appealed to the new IRDC chairman to investigate projects that are yet to be completed in the community and called for the reclamation of its satelite communities that have been washed ashore.

Secretary of Kolokolo Community, Mr. Gabriel Utieyinetsola who spoke in the same vein in a chat with newsmen, called for immediate canalisation of the creek leading to the community for easy access.

Other community leaders, women and youths who also bare their minds, commended the development efforts of the IRDC and appealed to the new IRDC chairman to ensure that more infrastructural projects are executed by both the IRDC and other relevant government agencies.

Vanguard reports that apart from housing projects and concrete jetties executed by the IRDC, basic amenities such as electricity, pipe borne water, access roads, housing, walkways, health centres and schools are lacking in most of the oil producing communities.

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