Just fortnight away, AKSG through the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Capt Iniobong Ekong promised that fishers who were displaced by Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) with its construction of Petrochemical Industry in Lagos Fishing Settlement, Ikonta-Obianga, Eastern Obolo LGA will be paid full compensation soon.
He gave the assurance on Thursday, December 29, 2022 and the State Government redeemed the promise on Friday, January 6, 2023.
Before the full payment of the compensation of One Billion Naira (N1bn), the Commissioner had said, the issue of compensation and settlement of fishers in Lagos fishing settlement had been handled by the State Government remaining payment of full compensation to the affected areas.
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Hear him, “The Lagos fishing matter had been properly and adequately laid to rest. The compensation paid was very adequate and the people peacefully relocated and activities have gone on there seamlessly.
“What we are about doing subject to Governor’s permission is the full compensation for that area which we have received 100% finances for. I just want to obtain His Excellency’s permission to go ahead with the payment. So the issue of altercation in that area is totally ruled out.”
Barely a week after the Commissioner disclosed the readiness of the State Government to pay full compensation to Eastern Obolo people, cheque to the tune of One Million Naira (N1bn) was released which sum was further subdivided to the various Village Heads of the affected areas in the presence of the Paramount Ruler and other stakeholders in Eastern Obolo LGA.
The benefitting Communities are; Okoroinyong – N200m; Ikonta – N160.5m; Obianga – N160.5m; Emeroke – N145.5m; Eguenwe – N95m; Imuve – N57m; Amasaba – N51m; Agasa – N10m; and N100m to be shared amongst other communities of Eastern Obolo LGA.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner said the issue of aerial mapping of the State which the Youths of Eastern Obolo resisted its outcome as some of their lands were allegedly ceded to nearby LGAs like ONNA and Mkpat Enin, the Commissioner said he will make proper findings on the matter.
The Lands and Water Resources Commissioner said with the Water Bill in place which awaits assent by the Governor, five (5) agencies will spring out from it which will provide employment and improve living standard of the people in the State.
Since inception on March 25, 2022 as Commissioner in the Ministry, Capt. Ekong said sanity has returned in land ownership deals in the state. He said though there is the challenge to terminate illegal deals on land and landed properties, the Ministry is doing everything to protect persons who have taken pains to acquire lands by working hard to terminate illegality of such dealings.
Also on Government allotted lands, the Commissioner said the Ministry does not take it lightly on people who stand on the way of authorized persons, bodies from accessing lands allotted to them by Government.
“We bite very deep on any individual who stands on the way of Government from allotting lands to whom ever they wish. Such allottee should be allowed to access their lands.”
Part of his progress report included, the digitalization of Land acquisition and management in Akwa Ibom State which enhances security surveillance and update of property record online. Perimeter fencing of government estates including Iba Oku estate, Dakkada estate, Emily Estate, Nung Oku estate, Anua/Ifa Ikot Okpon estate, etc, were few of the strides of the Ministry under leadership of Capt. Iniobong Ekong.