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April 19, 2024

Bayelsa ready for littoral communities’ mapping exercise — Ewhrudjakpo

Bayelsa community youths to elect new leaders

Bayelsa community youths to elect new leaders

By Samuel Oyadongha

Bayelsa State government has expressed its readiness to work with the National Boundary Commission, NBC, to save its littoral communities lying within 500 metres from the Atlantic Ocean coastline captured in the ongoing mapping exercise.

Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo stated this at a meeting with critical stakeholders, including local government officials and the leadership of Host Communities Development Trust in Yenagoa.

Ewhrudjakpo, who expressed concern that Bayelsa was the only oil-producing state, where littoral communities were yet to be captured by the NBC, urged community leaders to take the exercise seriously.

His words: “The delineation of littoral communities in oil producing states in respect of Chapter 3 of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, is yet to be conducted in our state.

“The exercise is being carried out by NBC to capture communities that lie within 500 metres from the coastline as provided by the PIA.

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“Our communities must be captured for them to benefit from the exercise. Therefore, our local government chairmen and traditional rulers have a role to play to create an enabling environment for the work to be done.

“Coastline communities in five other oil producing states have been successfully captured in the exercise. So, we should know we are running against time and act accordingly in order not to be left out in the programme.”

He directed the office of the state Surveyor General to liaise with the council chairmen, and other critical stakeholders to identify communities that are located within 500 metres from the coastline before the arrival of the NBC officials.

In their separate remarks, chairman of the Host Communities Development Trust, HCDT,  Ebikese Okoko, and the Chairman of KEFFES Rural Development Foundation, KRDF,  Christopher Tuduo, explained that they were prepared to collaborate with government and the NBC to ensure the success of the exercise.