SPECIAL REPORT: Era Youths threaten for a Showdown with Dredgers Degrading their Community

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Chief Olumide Akinsoji Erinle, Baale of Era Awori town.

BY Innocent Orok

Due to the untold hardship faced by the residents of Era Town, a community in Oto Awori LCDA, Lagos State as the destruction of their roads by heavy equipment lifting sand day and night from 19 Dredging companies continues unabated.

The youths are planning to fight back to rescue their community if government and its agencies who grant the Dredgers permits to carry out their destructive activities do not take decisive actions.

A youth from the town told Roamrepporters online that, despite the efforts by the Baale, Chief Olumide Akinsoji Erinle and other chiefs to make government, especially National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Lagos State government to call the Dredgers to order, their efforts have been in vain, and now the community is nearly been cut off from other parts of the state.

In an interview with the Baale, Chief Olumide Akinsoji Erinle, he narrated how the people of Era community are suffering without any succour from any quarters and the Dredgers wrecking havoc on them without any caution from NIWA or Lagos State government.

He lamented that during this rainy season, it has become impossible for residents to either go out or come into the community, while the Dredgers and their heavy trucks are carrying out their destructive activities without any human feelings for the plight of the suffering residents.

“In a community like this, security should be paramount. How can we have Dredgers working round the clock without control? How can we have a place like this with close to 20 Dredgers or more in a span of less than half a kilometer? And they have been dredging unabated to the best of my knowledge in the last eight years?, both day and night.

” We are no longer enjoying the community and they should also asked them of what benefits is the dredging activities to the community?. To whom much is given, much is expected. Where is the Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR)?. If they have given us anything , they should show it?, the Baale questioned” he said.

WHO IS AFRAID OF MOU?

The Baale further said the community drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be signed by the Dredgers with the supervision of NIWA, but both the Dredgers and NIWA never let the MOU see the light of day.

THE MOU AS DRAFTED BY THE COMMUNITY:

• The accredited Head of the Community must be duly furnished with all necessary legal documents of any dredging companies in Era .

•Approval of the Traditional Head of Era-Awori must be sort by all dredgers for any activities that is to be engaged upon by them .

• It is also worthy of note that NIWA should ensure the dredgers are duly approved and acknowledged by the Era-Awori Traditional Head before granting any approval to the dredgers.

•At a point in time we had about nineteen dredgers within Era community which posses great danger to the environment of Era looking at the available terms for such operations in Era community. It should be noted that, that number of operators must be commensurate with the officially available space of operation to be determined by the duly accredited environmental assessment. Also to be agreed upon by the Community Head .

•The community would not appreciate any company without proper government approval documents including valid Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) permit .

• Royalties daily takings on behalf of the Community, the Traditional Institution shall be N4,200 tickets per truck/trip.

• Employment opportunities should be of top considerations and highly priotised for our qualified and (or) certified youths within the community .

•All activities in and around dredging sites should be to the knowledge of the Traditional Head of Era Awori. .
•There shall be a Joint Committee set up by the Traditional Head / the dredgers to see to all daily activities of the dredgers to allow for proper conducts .

•All trucks shall be allowed for activities between the hours of 5am to 7pm daily .

• A Joint Committee has to be set up for all Corperate Social Responsibility to be embarked upon by the dredgers.

•We wish to state that the dredgers within Era Awori has spent about nine years on their dredging activities in Era without any physical or meaningful visible project .
On this note we do request for:
A. A Six blocks of Classroom, well furnished .
B. Solar Street Lights on Era to Abule road .
C. Concrete foot bridge from Era to Ijanikin .

•We vehemently request for the quarterly maintenance of Era to Abule road owing to the fact that the activities of the dredgers on this road has always been taking severe negative effects on it .

•It should also be noted that the dredgers are to comply with all traditional activities within Era-Awori community as directed by the traditional institution of Era-Awori community.

•We also state our request for an annual competition duration of any Corporate Social Responsibilities project to be carried out by the dredgers as agreed upon by both parties .

•Owing to the unstable economic situation of the country we state that the financial royalties /benefits shall be reviewed yearly .

19 DREDGING COMPANIES WRECKING HAVOC ON ERA AWORI COMMUNITY:

Ac Synergy Site, Lloyd and Sotheby Ltd, Leigh and Lloyd Ltd, Abukas Oil and Gas Ltd, Fide Natt Ltd, Carlton Nig. Ltd, Zmatel Dredging Ltd Site1, Seafall Marine Ltd, Fimar Nig. Ltd, and Edu- Chudy.

Others are, Dammyland Dredging Ltd, Nath- rods Nig. Ltd, Premium Trust Ltd, J-Div Ltd, Graceon Enterprises ( New Chinese), Adson Nig. Enterprises Ltd, Zmatel ‘ Site 2’, AC Energy Site 2 and Babs Allan Nig. Ltd.

Note: Expect more developing stories on this matter ( for more information email roamrepporters@gmail.com).

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