While other communities are battling oil firms, this community in Delta North is showering praises on palm oil firm, the reason is obvious
Management of IMC Plantation Ltd, a palm oil producing firm, has commissioned a road it rehabilitated in Okenu-Azamu, an agrarian community in Nsukwa area of Aniocha South local government area of Delta state
General Manager of IMC Plantation who led other management staff to the commissioning ground, Mr. Wilson Apiah, said prior to the rehabilitation of the road, it was impassable to both pedestrians vehicle users and the plantation staff.
He said during the rains it was worse, adding that community residents were navigating through the plantation to access Nsukwa community and other neighbouring communities in the area.
He said: “We realise that we are good partners with the community and the chiefs. And despite the effect of the COVID-19 on firms, we still deem it fit to rehabilitate the road to make it passable for our landlord. It was rehabilitated about three months ago.”
The General Manager commended the leadership of the community, saying the people have been very cooperative and friendly to the palm oil producing firm.
The Delta state commissioner for agriculture and natural resources, Julius Egbedi, who was represented by Samuel Acha, also commended the management of IMC Plantation for deeming it fit as part of their corporate social responsibility to rehabilitate the road for the Okenu-Azamu people.
He emphasised the importance of road in communication between communities and urban centres and most importantly in the evacuation of agricultural produce from rural communities to urban centres.
He said IMC Plantation has been a dependable partner with the state government. He added that with the rehabilitation of the road which was not passable prior to the intervention of IMC Plantation, development would begin to spring up in the community.
He said besides making the road passable to the Okenu-Azamu people it will also facilitate easy evacuation of IMC Plantation produce to the factory.
The Community Liaising Officer to IMC Plantation, Mr. Sebastian Olomu, said the Okenu-Azamu community has been major benefactor to IMC. He commended the commmunity for cooperating with the firm, especially in the provision of land for the palm oil plantation.
Joseph Odogwu, the Secretary of Okenu-Azamu Development Union, said the rehabilitation of the road was the first major project the palm oil processing firm has carried out in the community
He added that the road was bad but the intervention of the IMC had rescued the community from years of being locked out of communication with other communities, especially during the rains
He said there has been cordial relationship between the community and the IMC Plantation, adding that the cordial relationship has helped both the community and the palm oil processing firm.
Chief Uche Mebele, head of Azamu community, also expressed joy at the rehabilitation and commissioning of the road.
He told our reporter thus: “The road was really bad. During the rains, you can’t pass through. We manage to come out during the dry season. During the rains the community is locked out. You don’t see out. Now we can come out.
“I thank the IMC Plantation and I pray they continue to succeed. We are still expecting them to come and develop the land we gave to them. I want them to be my companion, hence we gave them the land,” the community leader said.