The Imo State oil Producing Area Youth Confederation (ISOPADEC YOUTH
OGUTA LGA CHAPTER) on Monday the 1st of August 2011 visited the Imo State House of Assembly. The ISOPADEC youths led by its President, Mayor JEFF Nwoha was received by the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu in his office.
They came on a courtesy visit to congratulate the Speaker and table some of their issues. According to Mayor Jeff Nwoha, the pioneer President of the association (Prince Emeka Igwe) introduced youth friendly programs and most importantly, assisted the Federal Government on the Amnesty Programme for Imo State of which more than three hundred youths from the state are benefiting till date.
Speaking further Mayor Jeff Nwoha listed their problems to include:
1. No oil Company operating in the region has an office in the state that would at least give employment to the restive youths.
2. A plea to Imo House of Assembly to appoint a Special Assistant on Niger Delta Affairs, who will assist with a first class information concerning operations of the oil companies in the area, youth
activities, Amnesty programme.
3. Non – inclusion of Imo State in the nine states of the Niger Delta region benefiting from the Federal Government approval 12,000 coastal guards.
4. The use of caretaker committee civil servants to run operations of ISOPADEC by previous government instead of indigenes of the area.
In his reaction, Rt. Hon. Ben Uwajumogu assured the ISOPADEC youths that all their grievances would be looked into but cautioned them to continue to support government and shun violent activities.
On the issue of staffing using Care taker Committee civil servants to run operations of ISOPADEC, the ebullient legislator promised to refer the matter to the House Committee Chairman on ISOPADEC to look into and come forward with recommendations. He therefore pleaded with the youths, to avail the Committee with enough information. The speaker equally pledged to call the attention of oil companies to ensure that they open offices in the State.
Speaker Uwajumogu equally promised to consider a “Speaker” from the oil communities who would interface with the oil companies and the House Committee on ISOPADEC.
On the issue of the non-inclusion of Imo State in the 12,000 coastal guards from the Federal Government Amnesty to guard the oil pipelines, Rt. Hon. Uwajimogu pledged to bring the issue to the attention of the governor so that adequate presentation would be made to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Petroleum and NNPC so that Imo State would be included in the arrangement.
However, Speaker Uwajumogu enjoined the youths to be proactive in their economic activities insisting that they are blessed with both oil in the ground and oil on the ground.
Contributing, the Chairman, House Committee on ISOPADEC, Hon. Barr. Greg Okemili expressed happiness for the way the youths conducted themselves in presenting their case before Mr. Speaker.
He promised to use his position to assist them to solving the problems of oil communities in the state.