Blackout In Oil Rich Oguta Becomes Unbearable For Residents

Blackout in Nigeria's Oguta town in Imo State Residents of Oguta town and neighbouring communities, under the Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ISOPEDEC) are venting anger over total blackout of electricity supply in their area, which they claimed has been so for over five years.

Their anger took a new dimension few days ago when indigenes of the community both young and old took to the streets to protest the continued neglect and alleged marginalisation in terms of electricity supply by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) and the Imo State Government.

The residents said it had become obvious that the EEDC and ISOPADEC were not in any way thinking of providing them electricity even though they were ‘the goose that laid the golden egg’.

When contacted, the Managing Director of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, Mr Robert Dickerman, debunked claims that they had stayed five years without electricity.

Counter-Claims

He said it was just about six months that the area had not had power, a situation he said was due to the fact that the state government through ISOPADEC had not fulfilled their promise of payment of electricity bills for ISOPADEC communities in a long time.

The MD maintained that the debts owed by the state government to EEDC was over 70 million Naira.

The Managing director said the company was willing to negotiate a new deal with the state government to solve the lingering issue.

Meanwhile, the state government through the Deputy Chief of Staff Operations and Former ISOPADEC Managing Director, Kingsley Uju, in an interview with Channels Television maintained that the state government had always fulfilled its promise by paying EEDC monthly as stipulated in the agreement.


He said two months ago, a sum of 5.5 million Naira was paid to EEDC through the ISOPADEC office for electricity supply in Oguta and its environs.

He appealed to the people to channel their grievance to EEDC and not to the state government.

Mr Uju, however, said the government would meet with the EEDC and ISOPADEC communities to find a lasting solution to the issue.

As the EEDC and state government continue to trade blames on whether it is six months or five years, what is paramount in the minds of Oguta people is to enjoy uninterrupted power supply, like other major oil producing areas in the Niger Delta.

Imo Govt. Distributes Relief Materials To Oguta Flood Victims

floodThe Imo State government through the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) has provided relief materials to the people of Oguta.

This is to alleviate their immediate suffering and hardship following the rampaging flood that submerged many houses and displaced many people in riverine Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.

Speaking to Channels Television at the ISOPADEC office after the distribution of the relief materials, the acting Managing Director of the commission, Kingsley Uju, said that the move was to provide immediate succour to victims of the flood disaster.

According to him, the relief material is more of food items for their immediate consumption pending the time the water goes down.

He said that the federal government would also intervene in helping the victims.

He, however, urged people living in the area to move to the upper lands and also the camps built by the state government for flood displaced people, located in Oguta and Ohaji Egbema, pending the time the flood subsides.

Flood: NEMA Urges Imo Residents To Be Vigilant

nemaFollowing the recent prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on possible flooding later this year, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Imo State operations office, has warned Imo residents living in flood prone areas to be conscious of their environment and report any overflow of their river to appropriate authorities.

The Imo State Coordinator NEMA, Dr Innocent Ezeaku, gave this warning in Owerri the Imo State capital while addressing journalists at the headquarters of the agency.

He noted that Imo State was one of the most affected states of the 2012 flood and due to this measures are being put in place to ensure that in case of any such occurrence, there are measures put in place to ameliorate the effect.

He urged residents of Oguta and Ohaji Egbema Local Government Areas of the state to be more vigilant due to the presence of the Oguta lake, a tributary of the River Niger.

He, however, noted that agency has begun construction of IDP centers that will house displaced persons in case of any occurrence.

Mr Ezeaku also said due to the incessant rainfall, the state government must keep up with their monthly sanitation exercise to ensure drainages are not blocked.

Imo Lawmakers Demand N40b Unpaid Rates from State Operating Oil Companies

house-of-reps-to-reveal-lawmakers'-allowancesThe Imo State House of Assembly has passed a bill urging the Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha, to demand the immediate payment of outstanding ground rents and other statutory payments amounting to 40 billion Naira from oil companies operating in the state since 1978. 

While deliberating on a motion moved by the member representing Oguta constituency the oil producing area of Imo State, Hon Henry Ezediaro, the House decried the continued short changing of the state by oil companies, stating that, the companies have capitalized on the peaceful disposition of the people to deny them of their rights and privileges.

The motion which was supported by 3 other House members maintained that with the present economic meltdown facing the Nigerian economy and its resultant effect on state governments, the House will at a time like this; explore all channels to assist the Executive Arm of government to generate funds to enable it render services to the people of the state.

The bill urged the governor to direct the chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue in the state, to mandate the companies to pay up all outstanding ground rent and other statutory payments owed the state since 1978.

It also directed the oil companies to comply and henceforth pay all entitlements due the state as at when due.

The lawmakers decried the actions and negligence of their host communities in the area of providing social amenities and that such will no longer be tolerated.

However, a nine-man committee was set up to supervise the debt recovery, interface with the oil companies and report their findings to the House within a time frame of 60 days.

Iheanacho Decries Lack Of Economic Development In Oguta

IheanachoThe governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho has expressed disappointment over the level of decay and lack of economic development in Oguta, one of the oil producing Local Government Areas.

While campaigning at Oguta Local Government Area of the State, he said Oguta is blessed with many natural potentials if harnessed can derive heavy revenue for the State and increase the standard of living of people living in the area.

He further said that if elected Governor he would develop the moribund tourist and economic potentials in the area and provide job opportunities for the unemployed youths in the area.

Captain Iheanacho’s campaign train was on the road again after going on a break since the announcement of the postponement of the elections and this time he visited Orsu and Oguta Local Government as well as Ihiagwa community in Owerri west Local Government Area of the State.

At Orsu, Captain Iheanacho and his team had a stop over at the palace of the traditional ruler of Assah Ubirielem autonomous community in Orsu, His Royal Highness Godwin Okwuaka where he was given royal blessings.

Moving to the campaign ground, he advised the people to vote wisely during the elections and endeavour to vote APGA at all levels.

Thereafter, his campaign train moved to Oguta Local Government Area to woo more supporters ahead of the elections, before moving to the rally ground,he had to pay homage at the residence of the oldest man in Oguta Nda Nzeribe aged 120 years old.

While addressing the gathering at the campaign ground, he said despite of the natural resources Oguta is blessed with, the area is still wallowing in abject poverty and the standard of living of people in the area is still very low.

He however promised that if elected Governor, he would ensure that all the economic and tourism potentials in the area is better harnessed to create an enabling environment for people to live a better life.

Afterwards he visited Ohiagwa community in Owerri west local government where he addressed some youths on the need to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and vote wisely.

NDDC begins free health care delivery in Imo

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has commenced its Free Health Care Medical Programme to some communities in the Niger Delta region as part of its commitment to enhance better healthcare delivery to the people of the region

Speaking at the flag off of a week-long free healthcare programme organised by the commission in partnership with AM Project at the General Hospital Oguta Imo state, the NDDC Managing Director, Christian Oboh told the people of Oguta that the medical mission was in compliance with the commissions mandate to intervene in the health need of the people.

He solicited their support towards the protection of the government projects sited in the various communities as they are important to their needs.

Mr Oboh who was represented by the Commission’s Assistant Director Health, George Uzonwanne, announced the commencement of the programme for children against typhoid fever across the region.

He also told them that the commission will be donating one million auto disposable syringes, 10,000 doses of typhoid vaccines and mosquito nets to Imo state government.

The Imo state Commissioner for Health, Joe Njoku commended the NDDC for the gesture and charged the community to avail themselves of the medical services but, like the oliver twist, he said they will continue to call on the commission to extend their services beyond the shores of Oguta

Chief Medical Coordinator of A.M Projects, Frank Ezeana said a total of 4,000 cases have so far been treated since the free medical mission started.