Delta governor tasks NBC, SBCs to resolve boundary problems in South South

Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has lost huge investments due to the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said.

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged National Boundary Commission, NBC, and State Boundary Committees, SBCs, in South-South zone to properly x-ray the challenges of boundary delineation in the zone and come up with fresh ideas and responses on surmounting the difficulties.

Governor Okowa made the call at a two-day interactive session of NBC and SBCs in the zone which kicked off, at Asaba.

Okowa, represented by his deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, stated that Delta state was always committed to the peaceful resolutions of boundary matters as it is critical to the development of the state and its neighbors.

While acknowledging the strategic role of the NBC in peaceful resolution of boundary disputes in the country, he said: “It is obvious that we are facing challenges with delineating our boundary with Edo and Ondo states. This is a result of the failure of stakeholders to abide by resolutions accepted by all parties”.

He, therefore, called on NBC to join hands with the state government in finding a lasting solution to the challenges associated with the Ethiope River axis, to prevent any further breakdown of law and order in those areas.

“There is also the need to revisit the delineation of the boundaries between Delta State and Anambra, Bayelsa, and Rivers states.

“It is unfortunate that most times a significant amount of time is wasted on boundary delineation without conclusion. The fact remains that if we do not resolve boundary issues on time, the people of the border communities will suffer because it may result in conflicts.

“I encourage the commission and boundary committees of the states to treat boundary issues with utmost priority. It is also necessary for states and communities in the South-South zone to embrace the principle of give and take on boundary matters.

“There is no doubt that for harmonious coexistence among border communities of the country, there is a need for continuous use of peaceful means in resolving boundary issues. Without amicable resolution of conflicts, those living in the border towns would continue to be in conflict and suffer lack of socioeconomic development, because the people may not be able to carry out farming and other economic activities, at the same time no investor would be ready to invest in a troubled environment,” he said.

Okowa, however, commended NBC for keeping to tradition in putting together interactive sessions and choosing Delta state to host.

Earlier, Director General (D-G), NBC, Surveyor Adamu Adaji stated that the interactive session was intended to serve as a way of sensitizing stakeholders on the activities of boundary managers at various levels of government and also offer a platform for relevant stakeholders in the South-South zone to interface with the Commission on ways to manage and fast track the resolutions of issues relating to internal boundaries.

The interactive session attracted the Deputy Governors of Edo and Bayelsa States, Comrade Philip Shuaibu, and Senator Lawrence Eghwrudjeakpor, including representatives from the other South-South states.

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