Bight Newspaper reports that Bayelsa State Government on Tuesday charged a technical team comprising officials of the National Boundary Commission (NBC) and other stakeholders for the delineation and capturing of littoral communities in the state to carry out their assignment expeditiously to achieve set objectives.

The Government also called on the leaders and stakeholders of the affected coastal communities in Brass, Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw LGAs to give maximum cooperation to the technical team to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

The Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence, gave the charge at a crucial stakeholders meeting involving representatives from the NBC, traditional rulers, CDC Chairmen, youth leaders and relevant government officials at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Onopa in Yenagoa.

The Deputy Governor, who spoke through his Deputy Chief of Staff, Comrade Gowon Toruyouyei, noted that a high degree of diligence was required from the field team to ensure that no littoral communities situated within 500 meters from the coastline along the Gulf of Guinea in the three LGAs were left out in the exercise.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo also emphasized that the communities that would be delineated should do everything possible to create a conducive environment for the technical team from the NBC to complete the mapping exercise in record time.

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The Deputy Governor, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, stressed the need for the team to handle their task with sense of urgency as Bayelsa appears to be the only oil and gas producing littoral state that has not been captured so far in the South-South region.

He pointed out that without the delineation and subsequent gazetting of the communities, Bayelsa State, especially the littoral communities would be deprived of their much needed legitimate benefits.

His word: “I want thank all the stakeholders for your cooperation. I am appealing to the host or littoral communities to cooperate with the technical team to ensure that the job is done speedily with due diligence.

“The committee will only succeed with the cooperation of the host communities. Setting up the team is not enough, without input from the leaders of the various communities, who are expected to create an enabling environment even before the team arrives in your areas.

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” Without this exercise, our littoral communities would be denied or robbed of the much-needed development. So you have to be on the ground, because the essence of the exercise is about the development of our communities.”

Earlier in his address, the Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Surveyor Adamu Adaji, underscored the importance of delineation exercise, aimed at identifying communities located along Nigerian shoreline of the Gulf of Guinea up to 500 metres inland.

Surveyor Adamu, who was represented by the Director of Maritime Boundaries, NBC, Mr. Nurudeen Abba, thanked the State Government for its cooperation, and called for more collaborative effort to enable host communities benefit from the 3 percent provided for them in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

He disclosed further that the NBC had successfully captured and gazetted communities in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Delta, and Akwa-Ibom states, expressing hope that the exercise would equally be successful in Bayelsa.

In his welcome address, the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Biriyai Dambo (SAN), thanked the NBC for embarking on the exercise in the state, and implored the communities to give total cooperation to the NBC team when they visit their areas for the exercise.

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In their separate goodwill messages the state Surveyor General, Mr Moses Gede; the Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Barrister Peter Afagha, and the Paramount Ruler of Mokoama community, His Royal Highness Theophilus Moses, lauded and assured the NBC of the communities readiness for the exercise.

According to Mr Gede, the exercise will afford hitherto fishing settlements that have grown to attain a community status but left out in previous delineation projects, the opportunity to be located and captured.

The meeting which featured questions and suggestions from participants, had in attendance, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, Mr Collins Ifidi, the Chairman of Ekeremor Local Government, Hon. Isaac Oniye, his Southern Ijaw counterpart, Hon Target Sekibo, and that of Brass LGA, Hon Lucky Febo.

Pictures from the meeting;

 

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