Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has urged monarchs in the state to ban youths from illegal collection of levies from contractors.
The commissioner representing the state on the NDDC board, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, made the plea in Oleh, at a forum with Isoko Development Union (IDU).
Monarchs, leaders, women and youths also attended the metting.
The commissioner urged the monarchs to emulate the Oba of Benin who banned community youths in Edo State from harassing contractors for financial inducements.
The youths reportedly collect various levies, called ‘Deve’ from contractors before allowing them to begin work at sites.
Ifowodo disclosed that harassment by youths was one of the reasons contractors don’t habitually deliver promptly on assigned projects.
He explained that recently at Enhwe community in Isoko South Local Council, soldiers were invited to stop some youths who prevented contractors from working.
The commissioner stressed the importance of Isoko in the NDDC, which he said, explained why several projects have been marked for the area.
He said: “It is only Isoko that does not have a mega NDDC project in the state, even though such are based on oil production. Isoko was the second place where oil was discovered at Uzere after Oloibiri in Bayelsa State.”
Ifowodo said the commission was committed to executing crucial projects in Isoko, and promised to do everything to return its important projects, which were removed from the 2018 budget.
He listed some of the ongoing works in Isoko axis to include the dualisation of the Enhwe-Oleh road, installation of streetlights, work on Emevor-Orogun road, rehabilitation of schools, and construction of four substations to improve electricity supply.
He urged Isoko indigenes to take advantage of the newly introduced NDDC scholarship, which he said, would be purely on merit.
The President-General of the IDU Iduh Amadhe told the commissioner that Isoko land had remained marginalised and underdeveloped, despite the huge oil and gas production in the area.
He presented Isoko demands to the NDDC, which include the establishment of modular refineries, increasing of crude oil production in the area by exploiting OML 28 fields, and inclusion of Isoko youths in the federal amnesty programme.