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Ijaw professionals seek host communities’ participation in oil sector

Ijaw Professionals Association (IPA) has urged the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to enhance the participation of oil communities in the oil and gas sector.

IPA made the appeal in a statement made available in Yenagoa. The statement signed by Hon. Iniruo Wills, president and Mr. William Arikekpar, secretary applauded the NCDMB for the growth of  Nigerian content in the oil and gas sector but said that a lot still needs to be done.

IPA congratulated Mr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB for his appointment and harped on the need to use to his office to enhance the participation of host communities and their indigenes in the petroleum industry.

The group called on the Board to address the issues in a measurable way, to the benefit of communities and the country.

According to IPA, the issues include environmental impact of the petroleum sector with regards to pollution control to ensure that the sector operated in an environmentally sustainable manner.

It noted there was an urgent need to develop adequate indigenous and in-country capacity for dealing with environmental disasters that the petroleum industry has inflicted upon host communities since the discovery of oil some 60 years ago.

According to IPA, indigenous capacity building by NCMDB was required in the areas of organisational, logistical, human and financial capacities of oil bearing communities to empower them to participate and compete favourably in the sector.

The group urged the board to drive an effective collaborative strategy for converting unregulated artisanal refining into a standardized and sustainable local economy of mini-refineries.

IPA, an umbrella body of Ijaw professionals, prayed for God’s enabling grace upon Wabote and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.