We fully support industrial park project in our town—Onisiwo Island Community

Baale Lamina Akinsode(middle) and other members of the Onisiwo Community at the stakeholders' meeting in Apapa on Wednesday

The Onisiwo Island including its six riverine communities in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, on Wednesday pledged its full support for a proposed industrial park project in its community by the Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd.
Onisiwo community members at meeting with Integrated Oil&Gas and Ministry of Environment at Alausa, Lagos

Over 20 of the community members, led by Chief Lamina Akinsode, the Baale Agala 11 of Onisiwo Island Tomaro, said the project was a welcome move they had looked forward to over the years.

Chief Akinsode and other members of the community expressed this opinion at a stakeholders meeting in Apapa involving the community and Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd.

Also in attendance at the meeting were a representative of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs Doris Okoawoh, a representative of the Lagos State Government, Mrs A. Abiola and the Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) Consultant, Prof. Alhassan Mohammed.

The stakeholder meeting was necessitated by the need to refute allegations of non-adherence to environmental requirements preceding development of such project.

Chairman of the company, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, briefed newsmen that certain Mr Raymond Onoriobe Gold and a Ms Augustina Armstrong Ogbonna had written a malicious petition against his firm.

He said they alleged that his company had started a dredging and construction work at the site, which they claimed was impacting negatively on the community.

A copy of the petition made available to newsmen showed that the petitioner claimed to have written on behalf of the Irede Community, which is a part of the larger Onisiwo Island.

A part of the allegation read that “ As we write this letter, dredging and other construction activities are already ongoing at the site… As we write this letter, we do not know if an EIA has been carried out.”

Contrary to the claim by Gold, Chief Lamina said, “the entire members of Onisuwo Island, Baales, everybody in the community dissociate themselves from this petition.
“We state here that the proposed project by Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd is yet to start contrary to the petition written by Raymond Gold.

“However, we look forward to the project in our community because it will bring about development to us; what we have been expecting for long time. It will help our youths to get jobs to be working.”

Akinsode also confirmed that the EIA was in process, while the community had yet to see any construction work take off, adding that Mr Gold must apologise to all stakeholders concerned for his malicious petition.

When the issue was brought to the knowledge of the environment ministry and the corresponding authority in Lagos State, a meeting to address the issues was convened and a five-point resolution reached.

That the community supports the Tomaro Island refinery Development Project;
That the communities dissociate themselves  from the petition written by Raymond Gold and articulated by Augustina Armstrong Ogbonna, that the EIA process had started since Dec. 2015 and currently ongoing.

That physical development of the proposed industrial park is yet to commence;

That the communities insist Mr Raymond Onoriobe Gold apologises to all relevant regulatory bodies and also to Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd for the embarrassment that he has caused all concerned, and in the process where he fails to apologise, drastic actions be taken on him.;

That there should be a press conference by Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd to refute the allegations made by Mr Raymond Onoriobe Gold, Christina Armstrong Ogbonna and others.

The resolution was signed by Mrs Doris Okoawoh, representing the Ministry of Environment; Mrs A. Abiola, representing the Lagos State Government, and Prof. Alhassan Mohammad, the Project Environmental Consultant.

Mohammad described the petition as unrealistic, as according to him, no EIA consultant would get involved in a shoddy project to circumvent the law demanding the due assessment procedures.

He said that was the reason for having representatives from both government authorities responsible for ensuring compliance to requirements for regulatory purposes.

Capt. Iheanacho refuted all the claims of the petition saying the his company is following all laid down processes to ensure an EIA is done as required before any construction work will take off.