05 October 2014, Uyo – Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has expressed concern over fourteen legal cases instituted against American oil giant, ExxonMobil by the host communities.
The governor made his feelings when the Chairman/Managing and Lead Country Manager of ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Nolan O’Neal, visited him in Government House, Uyo.
Accordingly, he has persuaded ExxonMobil’s host communities to withdraw all the impending court cases to enable the company execute special community projects in their areas.
“I think it is in the interest of those communities affect to immediately withdraw those cases from courts to allow contractors to be mobilised to site and commence meaningful projects in the areas”, the governor stated.
He emphasised that if those projects are not executed as at when due, the communities would be at the losing end, considering the bureaucratic procedure involved in getting approval for such community projects.
In order to secure the cooperation of the communities, the Governor has directed Commissioners for Health, Housing and Urban Renewal, Environment, Culture and Tourism as well as Special Adviser on Labour and Productivity to work with the Secretary to the State Government in persuading those communities to withdraw those cases from courts.
He explained that the high-powered government intervention would ensure amicable settlement within one week to enable Mobil execute the meaningful development projects mapped out for the communities.
Akpabio also assured the management of ExxonMobil that the State government would ensure the pending court cases are withdrawn, extolling the symbiotic relationship between Akwa Ibom State and ExxonMobil.
The boss of ExxonMobil companies had earlier asked the Governor to inform the people of the state that the special community projects negotiated and agreed upon had finally receive leadership approval and the money was ready to execute the projects.
O’Neal had however regretted that what was impeding the commencement of the projects was that some of the communities went to court, adding that there were about 14 cases pending in the courts.
– This Day