Benin - Edo Government has assured the people of the three oil-producing local government areas of the state that it would execute quality and sustainable projects for them.
Orobosa Omo-Ojo, the Edo Commissioner for Special Duties, Oil and Gas, gave the assurance in Benin in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Omo-Ojo said that the projects would be executed through the Edo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOPADEC).
Omo-Ojo said that EDSOPADEC was currently executing 169 various projects that would help to bring speedy development to the councils - Ovia North-East, Orhionmwon and Ikpoba-Okha.
He said that the projects, which included school buildings, solar-powered bore-holes and health centres, were in different stages of completion.
He said that the agency also embarked on the construction of a 10-km road in each of the the areas to link their communities.
"Because of the state government’s shift in ideology in relation to leadership, it has embarked on the execution of quality and sustainable projects for the people.
"The relationship between my ministry and the agencies is that of supervision; it is our responsibility to ensure that these projects are executed according to specifications of the designs.
"The era of tokenism and self-aggrandisement when you can just erect one structure and call it VIP toilet is gone.
“The state government has come up with standard prototype of projects it hopes to provide for the people,” he said.
On the reduced incidences of youth restiveness in the oil bearing communities, Omo-Ojo said that the Adams Oshiomhole’s administration tackled the problem as a major assignment on assumption of office.
"We quickly repositioned the ministry in such a way that both the host communities and the oil companies belived in us as an unbiased umpire to mediate between them.
"Because of our sincere and genuine mediation tactics, stakeholders have started to rely on the ministry’s statutory role to be able to bring peace within their host communities,” he said
The commissioner said that the mediation had resulted in the optimisation of oil production by the operating companies in the area.
Members of the oil producing communities in the state had in a meeting with the state government urged it to ensure that they fully benefited from the oil resources in the area.
A spokesperson of the communities, Dr Sam Igbineweka, had during the meeting, alleged that the level of development in the area was not commiserate with the amount of resources being exploited by oil companies.