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Peace, mutual understanding critical to socio-enonomic development - Akeredolu

Ondo State Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi addressing the newly constituted executive members of the oil community Associations at the Inauguration. 

The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has identified  peace and mutual understanding as  the underlying objectives for the inauguration of the  Oil Community Associations which are to fastrack the socio-economic development of the oil producing communities in the state.

Represented by his Deputy, Hon Agboola Ajayi,  Governor Akeredolu explained that the Oil Community Associations would be beneficial to both the oil communities and oil operators to meet the desired goals of facilitating, company and community partnership for sustainable peace and conflict prevention.

He explained that it was the duty of the executive members as community representatives to ensure conducive and peaceful work environment for oil companies activities in their areas.

"This can be achieved by complementing the efforts of security of personnel and protection of oil companies' properties, either stationary or in transit within the communities.

"Be transparent and accountable in all your financial dealings with the oil companies and also ensure that only meaningful and impactful projects are agreed to and executed as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes of the oil companies to the communities you represent," he said.

Arakunrin Akeredolu added that the dissolution of the former executives was done in the overall interest of the communities and to ensure that the executive members are people who share the visions of the new administration and for the sake of peaceful coexistence in the oil producing areas.

The Governor advised the newly constituted executives to always follow due process in expressing their communities' concerns, complaints and grievances against the oil companies.

He urged the committee members to note that government reserves the right to withdraw their membership of the oil associations  in the interest of the public  if considered inimical to the peaceful coexistence of the coastal communities or the general public.

According to  Governor Akeredolu , "the executive members of the different oil associations being inaugurated today cover the following bodies; the Obe Confederation (CONOIL) and  Association of Central Oil Producing Communities (ASCOPC-CONOIL).

Others are: Amalgamation of AICECUM, Obe Confederation and ASCOPC CHEVRON, Ilaje Regional Development Council (IRDC-CHEVRON) and Express/Shebah Exploration and Production Operational Area.

Earlier the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Funso Esan had stated that by the inauguration,  oil associations in the area would have been amalgated and all agitations in oil producing areas ended.

Also, the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Frederick Akinruntan commended the proactive steps taken by the  Oluwarotimi Akeredolu administration at  advancing the frontiers of development in the state and particularly in his area through the amalgamation of the oil associations.

The monarch admonished Ilaje  Local people particularly the youth  to always abide by government's decision, maintain peace and cooperate with the current administration.

Similar association would be inaugurated for the oil producing areas in Ese-odo Local Government Area of the state in no distant future.

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