10 December 2018

Nigeria: Allow Chevron IRDC to Operate, Group Appeals to Rita Lori-Ogbebor

The Concerned Oil and Gas Impacted Communities Development Initiatives, COAIDI, has appealed to rights activist, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor to allow an an agency created by Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, Itsekiri Regional Development Council, IRDC, to operate optimally for the benefit of the oil and gas producing communities like others in Ijaw and Ilaje areas.

Reacting to reports stating that she had discovered two new accounts being operated by the IRDC, the group said the freezing of seven accounts with over N2.2 billion on allegations of fraud and non-accountability has kept the IRDC dormant and non-functional for a long time.

The COAIDI said the oil and gas impacted communities have been left without jobs, contracts, scholarships, housing units, water projects, skills acquisition training, and other benefits that should have accrued to the people through Chevron's funding scheme.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Warri by COAIDI Chairman, Mr. Justin Bojor and Secretary, Mr. Agbejule Ofeoritse, the group said: "The statement reads:"If the exco were truly fraudulent she would not have discovered the N2.2 billion which freezing has crippled all activities of the IRDC. The IRDC account is jointly operated by Chevron, IRDC and the Delta State government and no one group can freely access funds in the account. All withdrawals are project specific. The current IRDC exco led by Ambassador Austin Oniyesan has the blessing of the Itsekiri monarch, HRM Ogiame Ikenwoli."

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