A group operating under the aegis of Ndokwa East Ijaw Nation Movement (NEINM) has written an open letter to the Managing Director of Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited to live up to its corporate social responsibilities by giving their host local government councils their entitlements. The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report.
The group had in a letter signed by Comr. Samuel Ebolo, Chairman and Comrade Okwuwa Ezechi, Secretary in an open letter addressed to the Managing Director of Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited decried the environmental destruction of the waterways occasioned by the movements of Sterling barges and vessels.
The duo of Ebolo and Ezechi asserted that the group can no longer keep quiet on the wanton destruction of its waterways, stressing that the company should begin the process of negotiating on how to clean waterways of the affected local government councils, adding that the affected local government areas include Burutu, Bomadi, Patani, Ekeremor and Ndokwa East.
Some of the demands include urgent payment of tenement rate, shore protection of affected communities occasioned by the movements of their barges and vessels, projects for affected communities, cleaning of the environment among other issues.
The letter reads in full below:
NDOKWA EAST IJAW NATION MOVEMENT.
The managing director
Sterling Exploration And Energy
Production Company Limited
The base manager
Kwale Base office umuseti kale
INTRODUCTION OF OUR ASSOCIATION AND DEMAND FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILY, PROJECTS, CLEANING OF OUR WATER WAYS BORN OUT OF THE POLLUTION OCASSIONED BY YOUR BARGES /VESSELS HAULING CRUDE AND OTHER PETROLEUM PRODUCTS ON OUR RESPECTIVE WATERWAYS AND PAYMENT OF TENEMENT RATES, MARINE LEVY/TAXES TO THE FOLLOWING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF EKEREMOR, BURUTU, BOMADI, PATANI AND NDOKWA EAST.
The above captioned subject refers.
We are not for profit organisation establish in the aforementioned local government areas with the main goal for agitating for development of our communities and influencing infrastructural projects to our rural coastal communities in Ekeremor, Burutu, Bomadi, Patani and Ndokwa east Local Government Areas Respectively.
Recall that your company operates YADE BARGES AND VESSELS on our respective waterways starting from Okpai Oluchi in Ndokwa East LGA through the river Niger to your terminal points. While on this voyage, your barges /vessels traverse the waterways cutting across the 5 LGA Government Areas aforementioned.
While your barges/vessels make this daunting voyage on a daily basis, crude and mechanical wastes from your barges/vessels spill on the waterways in the 5 LGAs. This activity has polluted our waters thereby endangering and destroying the ecosystem fish and fauna destroyed and killed as a result of this development. All the coastal communities which is the economic mainstay of our rural people.
Your vessels and barges have destroyed the livelihood of our people as a result of your daily haulage of crude in our waterways.
During the flood seasons, the spilled crude and industrial waste from your vessels and barges move into our communities, the list of damages is endless.
Our association accosted our various LGAs to formally explain about the menace to our surprised, we were notified that your company does not acknowledged the LGAs listed above where your vessels and barges operates and or traverse. Your company has failed and has also neglected to pay tenament rates, operational permits, and marine tax, amongst others to the various LGAs.
It might interest you to note that this action of yours amounts to tax evasion which is a crime. The various taxes collected by the local government Councils are what the LGAs gainfully employ to develop the hinterlands and our coastal communities are now adversely affected as a result of this neglect. This is unacceptable.
We therefore demand as follows
1: JIV… Joint Investigative Visits of the stretch of our waterways, in the 5LGAs listed above where your barges operates to ascertain the level of pollution done by your company for the purpose of payment of compensation of our communities.
2: Immediate cleaning of the waterways after the JIV above and restoration of the ecosystem to support fishing for our local communities which is the source of our economic mainstay.
3: Corporate social responsibility projects in our various coastal communities in the 5LGAs.
4: Payment of tenement rates to our LGAs and offer ancillary tax to be determined and levied by the council as prescribed by law.
5: Shore protection for our communities which is in a deplorable state as a result of constant and daily movement of your vessels.
It should be noted that the above demands are cumulative and non should be treated with levity.
Sign for and on behalf of Ndokwa East Ijaw Nation Movement
Comrade Ebolo Samuel
Comrade Okwuwa Ezechi