When Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, said recently that the State monthly IGR will hit N2.5b by December 2017, he knows exactly where he is heading.
Today, the Governor made unscheduled on-the spot assessment tour of oil facilities in Ukwa-West LGA of the state, where major oil multinationals operating in Nigeria have been taken oil from the state without paying a dime to the State.
It was a fruitful tour, Chief Sam Nwogu, and other leaders of the oil-rich community, were on hand to conduct the Governor round major oil flow stations in Owaza and Asa communities respectively.
It will come to you as a shock, as it was to the governor, to be informed that, not only that these multinationals oil big-names have not only been paying tax to Abia state, the oil-bearing communities in the state have also benefited NOTHING from the oil companies who escort their workers from neighboring states with armed-to-the-teeth security officers every day to work in Abia and return to their base outside the state.
The environmental hazard done to the oil communities as a result of the oil exploration/gas flaring, which is unimaginable, is a story for another day.
Note, there is no presence of these oil multinationals anywhere in Abia. You can imagine why they refused to return Abia ‘tithes’ to the state. Abia can’t even assess them for tax purposes. All that will be history soon.
Special thanks to the youths of the oil-bearing communities in Abia who have not toed the line of their counterparts in other oil producing states to vandalize and destroy oil installations.
Instead, they chose the part of dialogue, which the state Government will lead out with the oil companies to ensure that every rite is paid to both the state and the communities.
Abia better days ahead…
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Enyinnaya Appolos is the Chief Press Secretary To Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State