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N82. 9B oil spill windfall: Ibeno community sets up funds management committee

By Dennis Udoma, Uyo

The Paramount ruler of Ibeno Local Government of Akwa Ibom, HRM (Owong) Effiong Bassey Archianga has set up a 15 Man – Committee to oversee the N82. 9 Billion windfall granted them, following the oil spill suit against Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, which the court ruled in their favour.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Taiwo, in a judgment on Monday June, 2021 ordered Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay the judgment debt to Ibeno community within 14 days and failure of which, 8  percent interest would be accruable on the principal sum annually.

This resulted in an emergency town hall meeting with stakeholders of Ibeno community with the paramount ruler, HRM Owong Effiong Bassey Archianga to inaugurate the fund management committee.

The royal father said, “over the years, multinational oil exploration and production companies have been in conflict with host communities over oil spillages and with consequences of environmental degradation, negative socio-economic impacts, health hazards coupled with pollution of our ecosystem which affects our occupation as fishermen and farmers”.

He stated further that, outside God man remains the greatest of all creation but that good character is what distinguishes men adding that, “it is difficult to select, choose or appoint persons into very sensitive and crucial committees that need men of integrity and honesty.

He charged the committee not to disappoint the people of Ibeno who on 26th June, 2021, mandated him to constitute the committee.

He called on the committee to assist the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, Ibeno Legal Team to liaise with/contact MPNU, NNPC and any relevant Ministry, Department or Agency (MDA) to ensure the payment of the N81.9 Billion to Ibeno Communities within a reasonable time frame is achieved.

He urged the group to ensure that the money is paid into a designated bank account approved by the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, and ensure proper management, utilization and appropriation as well as application of the money in the overall interest and welfare of Ibeno people.

Terms of reference to the committee are:
1. To consult the Paramount Ruler/members of Ibeno Clan Council before taking any major decision or actions.
2. To make concrete plans and schedules for the disbursement of the money to families, propose and identify people oriented projects for execution when the money is paid.
3. To keep accurate records of all transactions in respect of the N81.9 Billion for future references and reports to Ibeno General Assembly / Clan Council.
4. To enlighten the youths on the need to maintain peace before, during and after the payment of the money.
5. To perform any other duties which may be assigned to the Committee as need arises”.
 The paramount ruler urged youths in Ibeno to remain peaceful as no progress and development can be achieved without relative peace.
Members of the committee include Pastor Udo Edet Udo – Chairman, Archbishop Hanson Ebong – Vice Chairman, Barr. Diamond Akpanika – Secretary, Hon. Inyang Eyo Ita – Treasurer, Chief Okutinyang H. Inyang – P/Rulers’ Rep, Obonganwan Charity Tony Ipom – Women Leader, Mr. Samuel Ekah – P.R.O/Publicity Secretary.
Mr. Friday Ebong – Member, Hon. Samuel Ita – Member, Elder Paul S. Akpanowong – Member, Obong Smith Udoeka – Member, Chief Okon Bassey Archianga – Member, Mr. Kingsley Asuquo Asuquo – Member, Mrs. Rhoda Peter Etukudo – Member, Hon. Roseline T. Ekah – Member.






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