*Calls For Host Communities Cooperation
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has commended Universal Energy Resources Limited, Operator of the Stubb Creek
Marginal Field and its technical partner SIPEC, for demonstrating their commitment to the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
Through sustainable human capital development and the establishment of enduring facilities within its host communities despite the present global economic downturn in the Oil and Gas sector, the governor believes the company deserves commendation.
The Governor handed down the commendation at the recent UERL/SIPEC JV Empowerment and commissioning ceremonies.
Represented by the Commissioner for Environment & Mineral Resources, Dr. Iniobong Essien, through Mrs. Ofonime Ekerete-Sankie, Emmanuel lauded the company for providing financial assistance to the youths, men, women and students from its host communities in spite of the unfavorable oil price and the prevailing economic situation in the country.
While appreciating the company for completely demonstrating its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the Governor charged the host communities to maintain peace and provide conducive environment for the company to operate and urged the beneficiaries to make good use of what they have received and maintain them for future benefits.
In his address, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Universal Energy Resources Limited, Engr. Steve Okoko, who also doubles as the Project Manager of the UERL/SIPEC JV, stated that the Empowerment Initiative of the JV, aimed at addressing youths unemployment and gender inequality, is a radical departure from previous custom of providing Community Development Programmes which centered on building infrastructures.
He further stated that it was the desires of the Universal Energy/SIPEC JV to touch the lives of the ordinary people within the communities they operate to enable them utilize efficiently the infrastructures provided by the JV.
He reiterated the company’s commitment to the new initiative as it is designed to raise the standard of living of the people and provide them with sense of
Belonging, while complementing the various infrastructures placed within the communities.
Okoko assured the communities that UERL/SIPEC JV will never shy away from honouring its obligations and commitments to its hosts’ communities and appealed to them to always be patient when there are delays in the implementation of promises which may be due to unforeseen circumstances.
He stressed the need for peace within the communities as disruptions to company operations would impact negatively on the communities.
He advised them to always liaise with their representatives on the MOU Implementation Committee on feedbacks from the company. He thanked the MIC members for ensuring the event became a reality and enjoined beneficiaries of the programme to make good use of what they had been presented.
Responding on behalf of the benefitting communities, the Paramount Ruler of Esit Eket, Edidem Ubong Assam thanked the company for their continual support to the communities, adding that the empowerment program gave him hope that better packages would be presented in subsequent years.
While appealing to beneficiaries to show the highest sense of responsibility to attract more programs, the Paramount Ruler appealed for more funds to be allocated for CSR programmes during the review of the MOU.
A Science Laboratory was commissioned and handed over to the Unyenge community of Mbo LGA during the ceremony while a total of 37 motorcycles, scholarship worth N3.1M and Micro-credit scheme worth N7.0M were given to the communities across UERL/SIPEC operational area during the 2-day ceremony.
This was in addition to ongoing construction projects being undertaken across the communities.
It could be recalled that UERL/SIPEC JV expends N50.0M annually on CSR projects and programmes under the existing MOU with the Communities.
Among those who witnessed the 2-day ceremony were the Deputy Project Manager (DPM), Richard Xue; the Manager, Human Resources, Anietie Isonguyo; the QHSSEC Manager, Bayo Salau; the Security Manager, Samuel Ediette; the Legal Counsel, Barr. Ekong Umorok and Head of Community Relations, Mrs. Arit Etim.