GOVERNOR Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Friday urged bitumen host communities to cooperate with the state government, as the exploration of the natural resource would soon begin.
Akeredolu advised youths in bitumen communities to shun violence and vandalism of exploring companies’ equipment.
The governor was represented by Prof. Bayonile Ademodi, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, at a programme tagged: “Interactive Session with Bitumen Host Communities” in Okitipupa, Ondo State.
Akeredolu promised that all host communities would benefit immensely through rapid development as well as direct and indirect employment.
“We are appealing to our youths to shun all forms of violence and vandalism of equipment of exploring companies that will come to our community to explore bitumen.
“We have concluded necessary arrangements to ensure that all host communities with bitumen benefit immensely from the exploration,” Akeredolu said.
Also commenting, a monarch, Oba Michael Adetoye, urged the government to ensure that due process was followed, and ensure that all affected communities were taken care of.
The royal father urged youths in the various communities to cooperate with the government, to enable them to benefit from the exploration.
“I have heard about this bitumen since I was in primary school; I only urge the government to be sincere with the exploration and develop the communities as promised.”
A stakeholder, Chief John Oyedeyi, said that the government must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on how royalties would be paid to all communities, if their cash crops and farm produce were affected by the exploration.
Mr Gbenga Olowokanga, a stakeholder, said that government should ensure that the youths were given rewarding employment, to avoid the recurrence of the Niger-Delta youth’s restiveness over crude oil exploration. (NAN)
– Feb. 8, 2019 @ 16:25 GMT |