Chevron, host communities raise concerns over WIBP project

Emma Amaize
& Akpokona Omafuaire

13 December 2011, Sweetcrude, EFFURUN – CHEVRON Nigeria Limited, host communities and other stakeholders have expressed concern about the effect of the proposed Warri Industrial Business Park, WIBP project by the Delta State Government on their environment.

They made their worries known at the inauguration of an Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, review panel for the WIBP project in Warri, by the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim, represented by Mr. Abbas Mohammed.

Chevron was afraid that its corporate facilities might be encroached upon, but promised to study the report before declaring its final position.

On their part, host communities complained that the EIA report was more of an academic exercise, as it failed to address core issues and was to put it mildly, a departure from reality.

They said until the proper issues were addressed, they would view the report as incomplete, but the State Ministry of Environment countered, saying, the issues in question were addressed but communities failed to read the document.

The minister, however, allayed the fears of the stakeholders, assuring that the panel review of the EIA report would be thorough.

“Stakeholders should have confidence in the panel because it is an assemblage of experienced and proven persons. They will be very critical of the report”, she asserted.

The EIA report disclosed that the state government has concluded plans to finalize negotiation and pay compensation by January 2012 to ensure a smooth take off of the project, expected to cover about 300 hectares of land.

Government’s plan is to create a world industrial business park with security and ultra modern amenities that will act as a catalyst for the rapid industrial development and growth of Warri and the Niger -Delta region of Nigeria.

The panel headed by Prof.B.A. Chokor advised that the issues of compensation, involvement of communities and general impacts of the projects must be addressed adequately.

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