From Everest Ezihe,Owerri
Following recent security challenges in Imo State, Governor Hope Uzodimma has said that the economic and security benefits of establishing a Naval Base in the State cannot be under estimated.
Governor Uzodimma made the statement last weekend when he accompanied a team of Naval officers from Abuja to inspect Naval facilities at Osse Moto in Oguta Local Government Area of the State, a place meant for the proposed Naval Base.
He further assured of the willingness of his government to support whatever it will take to ensure effective presence of the Nigerian Navy in Imo.
According to the Governor “There is both economic and security justification for the Navy to come into Imo State as soon as possible as this will make life more meaningful and help to curb all forms of vices perpetrated along the riverine communities in Imo State.”
The Governor maintained that the call for Nigerian Navy to establish presence in the communities living on the river bank in Imo State will “help in the protection and management of maritime activities in the areas, hence the willingness of the State to partner with the Nigerian Navy in the rehabilitation of the existing dilapidated and abandoned facilities at Osse Moto Community in Oguta Local Government Area of the State.”
He reiterated that doing so will help to checkmate the rising cases of banditry, illegal oil bunkering and other economic sabotage activities that tend to hamper the economic growth of the area in particular and the State in general.
Governor Uzodimma used the opportunity of the visit to warn parents, youths and all those involved in illegal businesses along the riverine areas of the State especially illicit drugs “to think twice as henceforth, Government will not take such activities lightly.”
The Governor expatiated: “All over the world oil producing areas are considered national economic resource area, hence, anybody going there to tamper with the public asset or to sabotage the only source of income to Nigeria will have to face the wraths of the law.
“ Certainly, the presence of Navy in Oguta and Imo State in general goes beyond revenue but include National and internal security, protection of the property and lives of indigenes of the area from the hands and nefarious activities of both known and unknown gunmen as well as the sponsors of illegal bunkering.
“Also if security is guaranteed along the riverine areas, the massive land area will have an added value, it will activate industrial clusters and provide opportunities for more people to leave there and life will be made more meaningful.”
Speaking at the palace of the traditional ruler of Osse Moto, Governor Uzodimma insisted that the establishment of a Naval Base in Oguta and along the riverine will provide an opportunity to harness the huge natural endowment within and to solve some internal security problems.
The Governor thanked the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Gambo for approving the establishment of a maritime Naval Base in Imo State considering the fact that “their presence is an assurance to the overall safety of the State.”
The Governor requested the people of Oguta, especially the youths, to cooperate with the Nigerian Navy so as to realize the essence of the project as soon as possible.
Traditional Ruler of Osse Moto Autonomous Community, Oguta LGA, HRH Eze Franklin Okafor, prayed for the Governor’s successful tenure in the State, and advised detractors to sheathe their sword as the Governor’s coming to power is divine.
He pledged the support of his people and Oguta in general to the commencement of activities at the Naval Base and to assist in the realization of the project.
Adding his voice,the Leader of the Naval team to Imo State, Rear Admiral Odogwu Ezekobe told the audience that their presence in Oguta will afford them the opportunity to synergize with other units within the Niger Delta since they already have presence at Mbiama, Yenegoa and Brass.
Rear Admiral Ezekobe noted that additionally, it will help them have a panoramic view of what is happening at the hinterland and hopefully curb all forms of illegality and criminality within the region.
Earlier during a courtesy call on the Governor at the Government House, Rear Admiral Ezekobe had acknowledged the cordial relationship between Governor Uzodimma and the Chief of Naval Staff and hinted about their readiness to commence activities at the Base immediately.
Those that accompanied the Governor on the visit to Osse Moto were the Naval officers from Abuja, Commodore S. H. Abudulahi, Commandant Finance and Logistics Nigerian Navy Owerenta, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, and members of the Imo State Executive Council
Waltersmith steps up plans to employ graduands of Imo host community
By Everest Ezihe, Owerri. As part of her corporate social responsibilities of alleviating the sufferings of her host communities, Waltersmith oil company has advanced plans to employ 47 graduands of Ohaji ancient communities in Ohaji Egbema counil area of Imo state who were selected to participate in their six months 2021 Technical Skills Acquisition Programme.
Mr. Chikezie Nwosu, the MD cum CEO of the multi million Dollar oil drilling company disclosed the cheering news at Protea Hotel Owerri on Saturday during the programme marking the end of the Technical Skills Acquisition Progamme for the beneficiaries.
Nwosu commended them for their comportment and zeal during the programme and however informed them that the employment opportunities which most likely be for their refinery will be done in phases.
He reminded the youthful but intelligent selected participants who are mainly Engineers, Scientists and Geologist’s among other professionals that they were adequately trained to be job creators and employers of labour so as to jettison being job seekers.
In his speech, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nana Opia who is the Special Adviser cum Coordinator of Oil and Gas to Imo state government, however commended Waltersmith for their labour of love towards youths of their host communities.
According to Opia who was also the key guest speaker”apart from insecurities, unemployment is one issue bedeviling the nation.Waltersmith is honoured when it comes to signing Memorandum of Understanding, MOU with their host communities and its implementations as the need arises , unlike other oil companies operating in the areas like Sterling Global, Agwa and Shell Petroleum.
The scheme will help in socio economic development of the state and Nigerian nation at large.”he assured.
He commended the will and courage with which the National Assembly passed the PIB bill but decried the 3% derivation to host communities saying that 10% would have been more ideal so as to take care of the developmental needs of the host communities who are naturally devastated.
The Expert in Oil and Gas further described it as “provocative” the allocation of 30% to areas that oil pipe passed through even when most of the areas doesn’t have oil.
Earlier in her motivational and inspirational speech, Mrs. Eriye Onagoruwa, the company’s External Affairs and Government Relations Manager applauded the participants for the discipline, commitment and dedication they exhibited throughout the period while reminding them that knowledge is the new goal.
According to Onagoruwa ” the best investment any company or nation can do is in knowledge through capacity building. You must maximize the knowledge potentials exposed to you, build up on it and advanced on it. Remember you all are trained to be job creators and not job seekers” she postulated.
The External Affairs and Government Relations Manager further reminded them that they are bound to have challenges but they are the architect of their success or failure in life and in whatever endeavor.
She also admonished on the need to be creative in their thinking for job creation opportunities as well as building themselves with the wall of knowledge.