July 22, 2024

Lawmaker raises alarm over harmful corked oil wells

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Lawmaker raises alarm over harmful corked oil wells

Ini Billie, Uyo

A lawmaker representing Ibiono Ibom State constituency in Akwa Ibom, Hon. Moses Essien, has raised alarm over corked oil wells in some Akwa Ibom State communities that have overflowed their contents.

Essien who is the House Committee Chairman on Health in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly said the incident is causing harm to the environment and the people.

Speaking on Wednesday in Uyo with members of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Essien said the oil wells were discovered by Shell many years ago but were corked and abandoned since the oil was not found to be in commercial quantity for exploration.

He mentioned the villages where the corked oil wells, now overflowing, were situated including Edem Urua, Ikpanya, Omu Ekene, and Aka Ikot Udo Eno, all in Ibiono Ibom Local government Area of the state.

The lawmaker called on the Ministry of Petroleum to conduct an assessment of the sites to ascertain the level of oil in the wells, expressing hope that they are large enough for commercial purposes hence the overflow.

He said untapped natural resources such as granite deposits abound in the local government area, noting that he would soon raise a motion to the House of Assembly on the exploitation of natural resources in Ibiono Ibom, and sought for the establishment of industries that would easily and readily use the raw materials that abound in the area.

“There are so many potentials in Ibiono Ibom, very soon I’m going to come up with a motion at the House of Assembly which will focus on the natural resources that abound in Ibiono Ibom.

“One of them is that we have a lot of granite in large quantities and large deposits in Use Ikot Amama. If we have an industry there, we can produce toilet wares, breakable plates, and insulators that are used by electricians in holding wires in various poles.

“All I need to do is to come up with appropriate modalities to inform the government to cite an industry that can tap the wealth of these resources. This can create employment and generate revenue for the state.

“Apart from that, we have some oil-corked wells in Ibiono Ibom discovered by Shell many years ago but were found not to be in a commercial quantity for exploration, these wells were corked and left. Some of these oil wells have overflown and it’s causing economic hazards to the people,” he stated.

Essien called for the full implementation of the Akwa Ibom State Health Insurance Law which was passed and assented to in 2022, saying already Governor Umo Eno has already inaugurated the Board for Akwa Ibom Health Insurance Scheme, signalling an activation of the law.

He mentioned that Governor Eno was building a model health facility in the 31 local government areas of the state, as well as executing other projects in the health sector.

“We want full implementation of the health insurance law so that those civil servants whose salaries are deducted for health insurance schemes would access health services at a cheaper rate,” he said.

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