The house of representatives on Thursday urged the federal government to include oil-producing communities in Imo in the Niger Delta stakeholders meeting.
This followed the adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance moved by Goodluck Opiah (PDP-Imo).
The federal government recently had a stakeholders meeting with Niger Delta leaders.
The meeting was aimed at finding lasting solution to the problems facing the people of area.
Moving the motion, Opiah expressed regrets about the frequent exclusion of Imo in the scheme of things designed to address the problems of oil-producing states.
He said Imo had always struggled to be included in federal government’s programmes and policies for oil-producing states in spite of being an oil-producing state since 1956.
According to him, if the issue is not readily addressed, the disgruntled members of oil-producing areas in the state may be forced to air out their grievances.
“The problem of the Niger Delta is not about a mere concern of problem of a geographical or geo-political area but rather the problem of the oil-producing states of Nigeria,” Opiah said.
“Oil producing local government areas of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta were among places designated as special area by the colonial administration via Willinks Commission of 1953 because of its peculiar terrain, underdevelopment, deprivations and natural endowments.
“Imo has always struggled to belong to the special federal government development policies aimed at addressing the issues of the oil producing areas of the Niger Delta.
“These include the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 1999/2000, the creation of the coastal states committee of the Niger Delta in 2005/2006 and the Amnesty programme of 2010.”
He said there was major tension in the oil producing communities of Imo following the recent stakeholders meeting with the federal government.
In its resolution, the house urged the ministries of petroleum resources and the Niger Delta affairs to ensure the inclusion of Imo in all matters relating to oil producing communities or states.