Ilaje Rural Development Advocacy Committee (IRDC) on Saturday inaugurated a new community centre worth N31 million at oil rich Ode-Ugbo in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The centre, comprising furnished offices and meeting hall, was fully funded by Chevron/NNPC Nigeria Limited (CNL)
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in his speech, lauded Ilaje communities for the project, describing it as a pure significance of development in the oil producing area.
Represented by Mr Bola Ajimuda, his Special Adviser on Oil Matters, Akeredolu restated the state government’s commitment to a mutually beneficial working relationship with host communities, traditional rulers and oil companies.
“This is indeed a significant development, we re-affirm our commitment to a mutual and beneficial relationship with the communities, traditional rulers and oil companies for the benefits of oil exploration to be felt by host communities,” Akeredolu said.
Mr Otito Atikase, the Caretaker Chairman, Ilaje Local Government, commended Chevron, saying that the project is unprecedented in the history of Ilaje area.
“The executives of IRDC have changed the narratives in the history of oil associations because the communities are now witnessing and enjoying visible and positive dividends of oil exploration,” Atikase said.
Similarly, Oba Obateru-Akinruntan, the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, represented by Chief Hosea Ikperepolu, said that the entire Ilaje community appreciated the unique achievement of the committee.
Earlier, Prince Adekunle Omomowo, ORDC Chairman, urged the community to make good use of the facility.
He thanked the partners and sponsors, especially Chevron, as well as Oba Obateru-Akuruntan who allocated the land for the project.
NAN reports that IRDC is a community-based organisation established in 2005 to support oil exploration companies in bringing succour to host communities.
The CNL had in 2005 signed a Global Memorandum of Understanding with IRDC and the state government to allow the oil communities the opportunity of ownership and management of various projects with CNL providing the funds.
Since 2005, CNL said it had spent over 118 million dollars on over 600 programmes, including empowerment, employment, projects, scholarships, education, medical, agricultural and infrastructural development in the Ilaje communities.