Enwono-Abasi Elisha

Residents of Ikot Ebido Oku lament carbon emission via the operations of Golden Tripod International Limited Oz Production and Shoe Brake Manufacturing Industry Project, Uyo-AKS, as Joint team of Ministry of Environment and Solid Mineral; and Committee on Environment Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly visited the Company on Thursday.

While speaking with the Village Head of Ikot Udoro, Obong E. U Ikpe, he recounted how the village council has made several pleas for the Company to relocate from the current site which Solid Rock Kingdom Church used to accommodate along Ikot Ikpene road.

Government team interrogating the Village Head of Ikot Udoro, Obong E. U Ikpe.

The royal father lamented how the operation of the Company has affected lives of residents due to dark-coloured rain water in the area anytime rain falls which is a clear indication of the heavy carbon emission into the atmosphere.

“We have written letters to the Company pleading that they relocate from the place because of the production of heavy soot which affects our health but they refused. This was not so before they came to the area.”

Sighting one of the letters written by the village council complaining about the situation and titled, ‘Serious Environmental Pollution from soot and Chemical Water Effluents Discharge by a Company, Tripod International Company, Ikot Udoro Oku, Uyo,’ the Supreme Council of Nwut Usiong Itam, Ibiaku Itam II, Itu LGA, AKS sent an earlier Save Our Soul call to the Ministry of Environment on March 2022.

Also, a resident of the area who pleaded anonymity said the situation got worsened by the day since 2018 when the company came in.

“Around this area to 1Km away is dark-colour rain water we have if rain falls. Our roofs are affected because of the carbon emission. Of course you know the effect of this to our health. What is happening in far away Esit Eket is happening in the heart of town here in Uyo and it seem they rebuff all attempt to relocate them from this place.

“It is a good thing that the Government has come today to see things for themselves. This is what our people are going through and our children who take up work opportunities with the Company because of lack of employment are complaining. But what can they do as they need to feed themselves and their families despite the poor work condition in the place,” the unanimous resident lamented.

The camera caught the staff in an airtight building without proper work outfit to fit the production of the day which a lot of harmful fumes were produced from melting of aluminum iron for the fabrication of the motorcycle brake-pads.

Workers sighted in an airtight building engaging with the motorcycle brake-pad fabrication.

A worker who pleaded anonymity said aside the three-square meal provided by the company to staff, their health is endangered as they are not provided with adequate work kits.

Another said the Company do import medicine for them to help keep their health in check. He also added that if the Company is shut down, crime will be on the increase as over 1000 youths are in the employ of the Company.

The Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly disclosed that there were a lot of petitions from residents and workers about the illegal operation of the Company which by all standard is against environment laws.

During a brief interrogation of the management staff, it was discovered that the Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, used by the Company was not an approved one by the State Government. And they could not provide any official permit for the Company to operate in the area.

Heap of the fabricated metal.

Also, the Company is alleged to be engaging in the part of operation which heavy fumes are produced at night. It is said that because of the outburst of the residents complaining about the dangerous fumes that made them to engage in that part of production at night. Before now, the Company used to take up their production with heavy fumes in the day time which attracted a lot of concerns. To reduce the attention, they resorted to night operations.

In the company, Workers are on daily pay plan and the volume of work achieved determines take-home pay.

Meanwhile, further interrogations of the Managing staff who took over operations of the company after the death of the former MD, revealed that they have been evading invitations from the State Ministry of Environment; House Committee on Environment; and Environmental Health Workers who sealed the place at a time and sued them. The invitations were not respected by the Company with the excuse that the current MD, addressed as Mr. LTN 2Z was not around on medical grounds.

The MD of Golden Tripod International Limited, Mr LTN 2Z said they took over the management of the Company in 2020 after the death of the former MD who was also a Chinese man. It was revealed that the company started operation in 2018.

However, the Government team ordered the Company to stop operation forthwith till necessary documents are provided for further guidance. The MD, Mr LTN 2Z and his Marketing Manager, Mr. Peter Yuan are currently in detention by security officers pending proper investigation on the matter by the government team.

Reasons for the suspension of operations of the Company by Akwa Ibom State Government included; Obstruction of the official oversight duties of the Government by hoodlums and destroying Government vehicles; Operating without official permit from the Akwa Ibom State Government; and posing serious health/environmental hazard to the workers and residents through the operations against all environmental standards.


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