BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
All parties in a move to open a proposed bid for building project in Itsekiri oil and gas producing impacted communities under the Global Memorandum of Understanding between Chevron Nigeria limited, Itsekiri Oil and Gas Producing/Impacted communities and the Delta state government have been urged to put the matter on hold.
Five members of the Itsekiri oil and gas producing/impacted communities, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Warri said opening a bid based on a needs assessment conducted since 2006 would amount to waste as the needs of the communities had since gone beyond the issues captured in the 2006 assessment.
The statement issued by Kennedy Ebigbeyi, Apoh Toristeju, Okotie Otomewo, Ebiekutan Jemine and Kennedy Obaghore stressed that the 2006 needs assessment no longer reflected contemporary plights in the affected communities, adding that the available fund should be properly channeled to productive developmental projects that would help create wealth and jobs for the people and communities under the Itsekiri Regional Development Council, IRDC.
“Much as building projects may be laudable it may amount to waste of efforts and funds if you build houses and there are no commensurate economic activities that would give the people means of livelihood and ensure they stay in those houses in the communities” they said.
Continue they said there was need to chart a proper course where the funds can be properly and better utilize for the benefit of Itsekiri oil and gas producing communities.
The statement further alleged that the IRDC had in its account about five billion naira, noting that if properly utilized would resolve challenges of underdevelopment and poverty in communities under it.