Delta State Governor Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has disclosed that the state government would soon abolish illegal collection of development levies by communities, from oil companies and property developers.
Governor Okowa who was accompanied by his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Monday Igbuya and other top government functionaries disclosed this today [22-03-17] in Ugborhen, Sapele Local Government Area while addressing members of the Community, at the newly commissioned ultra-modern Civic Centre.
The Governor who had on arrival at the community inspected the Elume-Ugboren road construction project being executed by his administration, also commissioned a 13.6 kilometres township road network, a solar power water project, two blocks of four classrooms with a Science Laboratory at Abaka Grammar School, and a Civic Centre in Ugborhen Community executed by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc in partnership with the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and the Ugborhen Community Development Committee.
The Governor said illegal collection of development levies has hampered the growth of many communities, adding that it had also increased the cost of executing projects by individuals, government and private organisations.
“This community must have given the contractors the enabling environment to carry out the projects, we will soon send a Bill to the House of Assembly to ban all forms of “deve” which has impacted negatively on the cost of projects including government and private projects. I am convinced that very soon Ugborhen will no longer be a village with the kind of projects here.” He said.
He stated that plans were in top gear by his administration to sponsor an Executive Bill to the State Assembly to give legislative backing for the abolition of these levies.
Governor Okowa commended the exemplary partnership between Seplat Petroleum Development Company and Ugborhen community and urged other oil companies to emulate the partnership stressing ” I am glad to see partnership like this between Oil prospecting companies and their host communities, the job of government will be much lighter if oil companies and communities partner in this manner to develop our communities.”
Governor Okowa advised the management of Seplat to harken to the request of the people of the community by providing employment for the youths of the area in line with the constitution.
The Governor thanked the Ugborhen Community for providing a peaceful environment for investors to thrive and called on other oil producing communities to partner with oil companies in the development of their areas.
The Orodje of Okpe Kingdom Orhue I, in his address, thanked Governor Okowa for his developmental strides across the state.
While commending Seplat for the various projects which he acknowledged have transformed the landscape of the community, the traditional ruler called on the oil company to provide employment opportunities for both skilled, semi-skilled members of the community.
Managing Director of Seplat Petroleum Limited Engr. Austin Avuru said the company was proud of the community for being good partners in the last 6years of their operations in the area.