By Jimitota Onoyume, Warri
The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, has inaugurated the Olu of Warri 2021 Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, Advisory Council for Warri Kingdom, promising a peaceful atmosphere across the area for the smooth implementation of the gains of PIA.
Inaugurating the body with Dr. Ebi Omatsola as Chairman at the maiden edition of Ogiame Atuwatse III Economic Summit in his palace in Warri, Delta State, the monarch said the era of selfishness, self centredness was gone in the kingdom.
“To the Iwere people, we pronounce that self centredness in our land ends today. Singleness of vision and mission arises in its stead. The land is alive and I proclaim over it today. The soil of Iwere land is blessed. The sea around Iwere land is blessed.
“We assure government, companies, non governmental organisations and regulatory authorities that we are well aware that our job is to make Iwere land more hospitable for business, whether energy or otherwise, no matter the obstacles thrown our way.”
Pronouncing abundant blessings across his kingdom, the monarch lauded the PIA, describing it as an instrument to redress challenges of greed, appropriation of collective wealth by a few in oil bearing communities in Niger Delta.
He said: “The PIA is essentially an instrument designed to cure the appetite of individuals who have become used to appropriating the common wealth to themselves or mismanaging the wealth to the detriment of the people.
“The primary purpose of the PIA is to assist in any developmental purpose deemed beneficial to the host communities as may be determined by the board of trustees.”
Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, in his address said implementation of the PIA would commence this year, adding that it would bring greater development to oil and gas bearing communities.
Others who also spoke hailed the PIA, saying it’s a solution to the myriad of underdevelopment in the oil producing communities.
A member of the advisory council, Alex Neyin, on the sideline of the event, said the key focus of the council was to evolve a complete plan for development of Itsekiri communities with the PIA in view.
“This move will transform Itsekiri area into a modern place that people will want to come to. The Olu has come out strong to select people he believes can deliver. There are so many categories of membership in the council.
“The advisory council is to ensure we have a complete plan of what we want to see in the area ahead of when the PIA is implemented. “
Also, Brig-Gen. Emico Eruwa (retd) expressed hope that the move by the monarch would bring a new wave of development across Itsekiri communities.