Ensure Better Welfare for Host Communities, Ex Bayelsa Commissioner Urges IOCs

Ensure Better Welfare for Host Communities, Ex Bayelsa Commissioner Urges IOCs

  • A case has been made on behalf of host communities in the Niger Delta region harboring international oil companies (IOCs).
  • Oil companies in this region have been urged to reinforce their efforts in taking responsibility for the welfare of natives in these host communities.
  • Meanwhile, these IOCs have been charged to also reconsider boosting their CSR and job creation as it is a good way of getting the youths busy and curbing insecurity.

Rivers, Port Harcourt - The former commissioner for finance in Bayelsa state, Dr. Silva Opuala-Charles has made a case for the welfare of communities hosting international oil companies (IOCs) in the Niger Delta region.

Legit.ng reports that Opuala-Charles in his appeal, urged the IOCs to ensure that they prioritise the welfare of its host communities.

IOCs, Niger Delta, CSR, Insecurity
Children wade through a mangrove swamp covered with crude oil on their way home from fishing October 14, 2004 in Goi, Rivers state Nigeria. Photo Credit: (Photo by Jacob Silberberg)
Source: Getty Images

The ex-commissioner made this known on Saturday, April 30 in Port Harcourt while delivering a presentation at the MCPD Workshop staged by the Rivers State Chapter of Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria.

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During his presentation, he stated that IOCs should take mandatory steps to ensure the environmental sanity of the people in the host communities and having in mind that their health is important.

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Similarly, the ex-commissioner also urged that IOCs should devise means to create job opportunities for the natives leaving in the host communities so as to build an economic and industrial co-existence.

He said:

“See what oil companies have done, they mess up the environment and don't clean up. They can still do what they are doing and be taking care of the communities, making sure that the environment and the host communities are taken care of, employing and training them.
“If they had trained a lot of our people today in the riverine community and the Niger Delta, and fifty percent of the employees are from this area, I don't think they will have the problems they are having.”

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Oil companies have not done much in CSR – Former Bayelsa commissioner

Meanwhile, Opuala-Charles revealed that oil companies in the Niger Delta region have been complacent in terms of performing their corporate social responsibilities (CSR).

He stated that these companies make a huge sum of money in revenue and that it does not reflect in their CSRs.

He charged the IOCs that they can do better by empowering natives of host communities with empowerment initiatives like training, youth-friendly competitions, and a host of others.

Opuala-Charles stated that making all these recommendations a reality means the IOCs will have been indirectly able to solve incessant cases of insecurity, and some other social ills that have continued to ravage the region as it will keep youths busy and motivated.

He said:

“Youths have a lot of unused energy and they are looking for what to do with it. So CSR is key and I don't think they are doing enough on CSR and sports can be a major area.”

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Oil belongs to Nigeria, not Niger Delta - Obasanjo tells Edwin Clark

In another development, there has been constant agitation by Niger Deltans that they have been treated unfairly despite producing Nigeria's most reliant resources.

However, former President Olusegun Obasanjo in an open letter to the leader of the Niger Delta, Edwin Clark stated that the resources belong to Nigeria and not the region.

Obasanjo while also reacting to allegations made by Clark that the ex-President hated his region, he said does not hate the people of the Niger Delta as Clark claimed.

I don’t hate Niger Delta, Obasanjo writes Edwin Clark

He stated that management of crude oil in the region is in adherence to the stipulated provisions of the constitution.

The former leader added that he had never shown anger or distraught to the Niger Delta region or any part of the country.

Obasanjo who expressed his displeasure over the statement of the Niger Delta chieftain said he was not pleased with the language he used to describe him.

Source: Legit.ng

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