The People of Agbado, an agrarian community, in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, have commended the multinational Okomu oil palm company for providing them with a 2km tarred road, after 30 years of government abandonment.
The Odionwere (Head) of the community, Mr Paul Igbinoba, who led other leaders on a thank-you visit to Okomu oil headquarters, near Benin on Saturday, said they were overwhelmed by the gesture.
Igbinoba said “our people are indeed very happy over the constructed roads with drainage systems along our community.
“As farmers who cultivate plantain, cocoa and yam, the only access road has been in a deplorable condition for the past 30 years, making us lose several of our produce after harvests because we find it difficult to bring them close to buyers who also find it difficult to reach us.
“My people are happy because these past years, neither the local government nor the state government has hearkened to our cries for rehabilitation of this road and provision of other social amenities.
“There is nothing to show in this community that we have a government; no source of potable water, no health centre, no school, no market and town hall.
“Over the years, we have had to resort to self help. The only primary school under construction is a Federal government project which started some few months ago.”
Igbinoba said “even though neighbouring communities will also benefit from this road project, we are the major beneficiaries, hence, our visit here today to express our appreciation and gratitude to Okomu management.
“It was only last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, that we approached the management and pleaded for its intervention and today, the management has blessed the entire community with a tarred road.
“We are also pleading that Okomu oil should provide us with source of potable water because the flood devastation is polluting the only river we get water from,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the community presented a Bronze Head to Okomu management as a token of its appreciation.
The Communications Officer of the company, Mr Fidelis Olise, said the constructed road was part of the company’s Social Corporate responsibility to its host communities, especially “seeing that this happens to be the community’s priority needs.
“We have for now constructed and tarred 2km of the entire stretch of the road which cuts across several communities, with side drains.
“It costs the company about N58 million to execute the project which we hope the communities will jealously protect and maintain as their own,” he said.(NAN)