ORJI RECANTS OVER SNIDE REMARKS ON OIL FIRM
The governor had on a visit to the company's operational site, reportedly called its officials oil thieves, noting that they were involved in economic sabotage.
On the visit, angry Governor Orji accused the council chairman of Ukwa West and traditional rulers in the area of conniving with operators of the oil company to illegally lift oil to make the federal and Abia State governments lose a lot of money.
However, the management of Millennium Oil and Gas Limited which had insisted that its activities were legal, last Wednesday, stormed the Government House with the documents that authorised them to operate in the area.
After receiving them, Orji was said to have regretted the embarrassment he caused the company, and blamed his initial action on rumours and misconception over activities of the company, saying he was not properly briefed.
The governor blamed the mix-up on officials of the Ministry of Petroleum whom he said did not properly brief him on the issue.
He said what he heard was that people were carting away crude oil from the oil field which prompted his visit to the site.
The governor said when he realised that activities of the company were legal, he called the police commissioner and head of the Civil Defense Corps to withdraw their men from the site, adding that Abia was happy to have investors to explore resources in the state.
In his remarks, Chairman of the firm, Dr. Andrew Uzoigwe, said the company comprised three equity interest owners, and that it had spent about $12 million in the area and planned to spend about $100 million in the state.