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Anxiety In Akwa Ibom Communities Over Oil Spills – Leadership News

By Iniobong Ekponta

Oil spills emanating from oil wells corked down by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), over the years have started posing serious threat to the local residents of the affected areas in Ibiono Ibom local government area, it was learnt yesterday.

Addressing journalists at the Correspondents‘ Chapel‘s Arena, the member representing Ibiono Ibom State constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon Moses Essien, said it has the potential to impact heavily on the communities with attendant humanitarian crises if urgent interventions fail.

He recalled that SPDC discovered the oil wells many years ago, corked them, and kept them because they were not found to be in commercial quantity at the time. He lamented that the oil wells had overflown and constituted economic hazards to the communities.

Essien, who is also the chairman of the House Committee on Health, said he has liaised and interfaced with appropriate authorities to address the matter and prevent the scourge. He added that what is left is for the committee to visit the communities and make appropriate recommendations to the department involved in the state to see what could be done to help the residents.

He said, „We have some corked oil wells in Ibiono Ibom LGA; these wells were discovered by Shell many years ago but found not to be in commercial quantity for exploration, and the oil wells were corked and left.

“Some of these oil wells have overflown and are now causing economic hazards to our people in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. At the level where it is now the Ministry in charge of these resources are drawn to Ibiono Ibom to carry out an on-the-spot- assessment of the situation.

I am sure that the oil is now in large commercial quantities for exploration.“

Still on oversight responsibilities, Essien said that the House of Assembly would soon commence a tour of State hospitals and other health institutions to investigate widespread complaints of the negligence of duty among health workers and failed amenities in the health facilities.

“The environment of most of the General Hospitals, from my experience at Emmanuel General Hospitals, are unkempt, grasses overgrown everywhere, prompting mosquito attacks. Patients come with mild ailments and encounter more critical health challenges because of the very dirty environment.

“You also have the misfortune of no power supply. Patients often light candles and phone touches to light their beds and take care of themselves at night. There have been cases of poor power supply disrupting medical procedures and threatening patients‘ lives in public hospitals.

“We are not even giving prior notice to them that we are coming so that we get first hand information on what is happening against the public complaints. Like the issue you raised, a medical doctor is supposed to be on duty post to care for patients. He is not supposed to be in his house, keeping patients waiting.

“Sometimes they wait till emergencies before they will come. That is not encouraging. And so we will embark on oversights to most of these hospitals on these issues so that we can draw attention of the Governor (Umo Eno) to most of these challenges people are complaining about.

“We are already dealing with some that came to the House by motion. Like the Okorette General Hospital, we dealt with issues raised by members representing Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo Constituency.

“We summoned the commissioner for Health and the permanent secretary; we summoned the Hospital Management Board to appear before the House Committee on Health. We gave them three days marching order to report back to the hospital.

“Truly, those issues raised in the motion were real. They had a fact-finding, and now those challenges have been fixed just because of the commissioner‘s visit. We are alive to the duty of drawing the attention of the executive to those areas for reforms and resolutions,“ he added.

See Dollar to Naira black market today, Pound to Naira, Euro to Naira, Dollar to Naira CBN rate and Dollar to Naira Bank rate today.

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