03 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Okoloma-Ndoki Afam, the community playing host to the six power generation plants in Rivers State has demanded for an equity share in Afam Power Plc.
The community made this known when a delegation of the Senate Committee on Power paid an oversight visit to the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, NAPTIN’s Regional Training Centre in Afam, Oyigbo Local Government Area of the State.
The community, speaking through the member representing Oyigbo Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Chisom Dike, decried that after playing host to the federal government’s multi-million dollar investments for over five decades, the community has nothing to show for it.
Dike who is also an indigene of the community, lamented that the community which has been peaceful, hospitable and law abiding community does not have just one indigenous staff at the management level of NAPTIN or Afam Power Plc, this past 59years.
He said it was disheartening that the road leading to the training institute and power plants was built 59years ago and since then, there has been no willingness of the government to rehabilitate the only federal road that link the community to other parts of the country.
“There is no trace of any sign of development from the Federal Government in our community, despite the fact that Okoloma-Ndoki Afam community is also playing host to the Afam Power for the past 59years, yet we are resolute to remain peaceful and law-abiding.
“During the privatisation of the power sector by the Federal Government in the last administration into 19 stand-on, the companies which gave birth to the present PHCN, Afam Power Plc as well as NAPTIN under the Ministry of Power, yet our community requested to be part of the process as stakeholders with an equity share from the government own percentage.
“Having played host for 59years without any theft, vandalism or community unrest, we are here again and now unequivocally saying that our request for equity shareholder be considered and granted even in this PPP arrangement with GE International and the ongoing re-bidding of Afam Power Plc.”
The Afam power community also demanded for an annual scholarships and trainings of indigenes of the community in various aspects of power industry.
“We want our youths who are graduates of various power related disciplines to be trained at no-cost on yearly basis as way of CSR from NAPTIN considering how long we have hosted the power sector of Nigeria, even before Nigeria’s independence.
“Awards of contracts to the indigenous contractors/host community by NAPTIN, employment quota for our qualified youths in the power industry, rehabilitation and reconstruction of all the internal road networks and drainages within the community for easy access and movements.”
Responding, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, commended the community for its peaceful disposition since the inception of the power companies in the area.
“Whichever way that you have to continue to maintain peace and amity with the surrounding companies here, please keep it up and we are appreciative of that pact.
“Let everything that you want as a host community go through proper channels; if you have any issue that you are unable to resolve, let it come to the National Assembly and we are assuring you that we are going to look into it,” Abaribe said.