Total, Akwa Ibom communities seek better relations
Community leaders from Akwa Ibom State and the Management of Total E&P
Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) have set up a 20- member committee to seek ways of
ensuring better relations between the company and coastal communities in the state.
The committee was tasked with the responsibility of mapping out ways of
standardising the processes of engagement between the company and its stakeholders,
particularly Akwa Ibom’s coastal communities.
This was the outcome of a consultative meeting held between Total’s representatives
and leaders drawn from some coastal communities on May 28, 2009 at Sasun Hotel,
Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
This is coming on the heels of the adoption of four local government areas as the first
set of communities to benefit from the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) initiatives in Akwa Ibom State.
The local government areas include Ikot Abasi, Ibeno, Mbo and Eastern Obolo which
are to benefit from a wide range of infrastructure interventions including the
construction of classroom blocks, market stalls and community health centres, among
Already, some of the communities have benefited from free healthcare interventions
sponsored by the community, while the University of Uyo is already the beneficiary
of a 500-seater lecture theatre built by TEPNG at the cost of N74million.
TEPNG’s General Manager, Sustainable Development, Mr Vincent Nnadi flagged off
the Sasun Hotel meeting by pointing out that the decision to engage the communities
in such a dialogue was in furtherance of the company’s New Sustainable
Development Vision which makes CSR a cardinal corporate objective rather than a
mere right to operate.
Mr Nnadi said although TEPNG had received plaudits for its leading ro le in
community relations in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, the company would not
rest on those laurels, but would strive to improve on its performance by building
mutually beneficial partnerships with its host communities.
In their response, the community leaders commended TEPNG for its interventions so
far in Akwa Ibom State, but said more needed to be done.
The TEPNG delegation, led by Mr Nnadi, included the Partnership Development
Manager, Mr Blessing Nwaerema; Capacity Development Manager, Dr Nkoyo Attah;
Manager, Offshore SD, Mr Mathew Otokiti; SD Projects Manager, Mr Francis
Oriakhi and other staff.
The stakeholders were led by paramount rulers from the coastal communities,
including HRH U.J. Ntuk Ubom(Ikot Abasi), HRH Obong Apostle (Dr) Owenukafia
(eastern Obolo), HRH Obong Dr B. Effiong Archiang (Ibeno), HRH Edidem Edet
Antai 111 (Mbo), HRH Obong (Engr) J.J. Obossi (Oruk Anam) and Chief K. U.