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OIL POLITICS: NCDMB Insists on effective cooperation with Communities

OIL POLITICS: NCDMB Insists on effective cooperation with Communities

… as Monipolo increases CSR to Mbo

By Saviour Ekpe/Glory Eyo

The zonal Coordinator of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River Zone, Engr. Uduak Obot has called on oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to live above board by operating within the local content law.

Engr. Obot while making his remarks at a forum organized by Monipolo to interface with her host communities of Efiat and Mbo clans in Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom State at the State Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia in Uyo. The NCDMB Boss noted that the local content laws are binding on any company that operates in defiance with the law, “it was on this cause that the Nigerian content Board was created so that there will be peace between the host communities and operational oil companies. I have traversed all sites in Mbo local government with my team and I want to commend the company and I want to believe that they have been doing well with the communities according to our advice that is why we are not receiving so much complaint from the community apart from what I am hearing today. I must add that sitting of office in the host community is within the local content law”.

He advised oil communities to consult their operational communities wide in order to have effective and peaceful operations, “if you must have the best from a community, you must consult widely with the locals”. Engr. Obot explained that Monipolo is not a major oil company, describing it as ‘marginal field’ operator, “again, Monipolo is one of the marginal field operators. We have the major operators and marginal field operators. Marginal field operator means, they are operating from a field that was abandoned by the major operators when they discovered that the quantity of oil is not viable for their operation and move else way, though we understand the burden but that does not stop you from doing what you need do to the community”.

In his remarks, the representative of Monipolo, High Chief Clifford Daerego explained the rationale behind taking the meeting to Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital was on security grounds, he thanked the royal fathers, chieftains in the oil and gas business, security chiefs in the area for responding to the invitation. High Chief Daerego observed that the company’s production capacity has been dwindling, hence the management decision to increase their production so as to meet up with the reality of their operations.

He noted that the company’s policy is built on capacity building of its host community and empowerment, maintained that the company will continue to empower members of Mbo community in which they operate. He advised those wishing to do business with them to get permit from the DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources) as Monipolo will register them and give whoever is qualified opportunity to do business with them.

Fielding questions from Century Newsfront on the company’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), High Chief Daerego noted with delight that CSR is one of their company’s core values to give back to their operational communities what due them, “in most of our activities, we collaborate with the royal fathers under the watchful eyes of all the regulatory agencies such as the DPR, NCDMB etc.” he further explained that on regular basis, the company gives out items such as motorcycles, computer sets, printers, micro credit facilities to women, youths among other life touching equipment for their sustenance, “as our production capacity increases, we will definitely increase our CSR”.

Responding, the Vice Chairman of Mbo local government area, Hon. (Mrs.) Mary Ating who represented the Council Chairman at the gathering called on effective collaboration, understanding and peace between the oil company and the host community. She commended Monipolo for the interface with the host community, insisted that the company should listen to the yearnings of the people while calling for peace and dialogue among the people of the area. The council representative also called on the company to look into the deplorable roads in the community with a view to ameliorating the suffering of the people, “aside other things, the people will be happy if the company works on the roads because the only road that is functional in the community was constructed by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel”.

Others who spoke at the event were royal leaders, youth leaders and opinion moulders from the two clans of Efiat and Mbo. Others were the representative of security agencies viz: the Nigeria Navy, Civil Defense Corp as well as the DPO of Mbo, CSP John Inyang Abia.

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