Members of Federal University Otuoke consultancy team handling the Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Oil and Gas park by Nigerian Content Development and Management Board recently organized a town hall meeting with the people of Emeyal I community, Ogbia Bayelsa State.
The town hall meeting according to the leader of the team Prof. Bio Nyananyo is aimed at creating the opportunity for his team to meet with the host community before the EIA process commences.
Prof. Bio said it is necessary that the community be informed about the process, stages and activities involved in carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment.
He further mentioned that his team wants to fulfill all the requirements of the Baseline, post and remediation stages of the Impact Assessment.
Prof Bio concluded by calling on the community to collaborate with his team by giving them all necessary support and expressed optimism that the project if completed will be of immense benefit to the community in particular and other stakeholders in general.
In his remarks the representative of Federal Ministry of Environment. Mr Alale George thanked the community and FUO for their efforts so far and stated his ministry’s concern for the successful conclusion of the EIA.
According to him “We are happy with what is about to happen and we are here to ensure that things are done properly, please continue to give the team maximum support”.
Also presenting his remarks at the event, the representative of Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment Mr. Agada Woyengikuro reiterated what Mr. Alale George said but also laid emphasis on the issue of security urging the host community to do everything within its power to create an enabling environment for the project.
He blamed the insecurity challenges in the Niger Delta region as the bane of its development.
“We are losing a lot in terms of development because of security issues, investors will not invest in areas that are insecure, so I am begging you to do everything you can to provide security in your area” he said.
In his response the paramount ruler of Emeyal I Community, Chief Jephtah Wolisi thanked the FUO team for organizing the town hall meeting he welcomed them expressing the happiness and eagerness of his community over the proposed Oil and Gas Park.
Chief Wolisi said his people are aware of the numerous benefits that await them when the project will commence promising that everything needed in terms of support and collaboration will be provided by Emeyal I Community.
He also expressed joy that Federal University Otuoke has stated providing consultancy services citing it as a huge contribution and a dividend of establishing a University in their locality.
He finally urged the team to expedite action on the EIA so that the project will commence quickly.
Among the FUO team were Prof. Egbon of Sociology Department, Dr. Ihuoma Adekunle, Head of Chemistry Department, Dr. Sepribo-Lawson Jack Director of APPRA and Head of Mechatronics Engineering, Dr. Uchenna Nwachukwu, the Acting Director, FUO Medical Centre.
Others are Dr. Ifua, Dr. Bada, Mr. Solomon the Secretary of the team and members of the Public Relations Unit.
Community representatives were members of Council of Emeyal I chiefs, the Community Development Chairman, Youth and Women Leaders, Members of Osunda Family, the Land Owners and some observers.
A team from NCDMB was also present at the town hall meeting.
It can be recalled that Federal University Otuoke and NCDMB signed an MOU granting the former’s approval to conduct the Environment Impact Assessment for proposed Oil and Gas Park in Emeyal I Community.