A leading indigenous oil firm, Oriental Energy Resources Limited, has reiterated its commitment to safe operations and sustainable development of its host communities in oil-rich Akwa Ibom State.
The firm also said that it is conducting its operations in line with international best practices.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, the company’s Head of Community and Government Relations, Dr. Uwem Ite, maintained that Oriental Energy does not joke with its Corporate Social Responsibility as it has carried out many social investment initiatives and programmes within its host communities in Akwa Ibom State since the commencement of operations.
He listed such to include, annual free medical outreach, scholarship awards to students in tertiary institutions as well as the multi-million-naira 100 housing units called “Oriental Village currently under construction in Enwang, the headquarters of Mbo Local Government Area. Other social investment initiatives include enterprise development scheme, and support for University of Uyo’s Departments of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, among others.
According to him, the company has developed and maintained close working relationship with relevant government agencies, community-based and non-governmental organisations as well as other sustainable development actors at the three tiers of government.
His words: “We conducted a one-week free medical outreach in July this year for 4000 beneficiaries drawn from Effiat, Enwang, Uda, Ebughu and Udesi communities in Mbo Local Government Area and its environs. The outreach, which was held at Enwang Primary Health Centre addressed several unmet health care needs of the beneficiaries, which included traditional rulers, men, women, youths and school children. Free medical supplies were distributed including pregnancy kit bags for 200 expectant mothers as well as dental and hygiene kits for school children.
“Again, as part of our efforts to contribute to human capital development in our host communities, we instituted an annual scholarship scheme for students in tertiary institutions. Since 2009, more than 850 students have received financial support from Oriental Energy to complete their education through the scholarship programme. For instance, 65% of the total number of awards were made to indigenes of Mbo communities in the 2018/2019 academic session.
“It would also interest you to know that in 2017, we launched a 700-million-naira modern residential estate in Enwang, the headquarters of Mbo Local Government Area. The secured estate named “Oriental Village Mbo” is currently under construction and consists of 100 housing units, six learning centres and a clinic which will be powered by a solar electrification system. When completed, the housing units will be given free to the beneficiaries from Effiat and other Mbo communities in Akwa Ibom State.
“The allocation framework of the housing units and management of the estate for sustainability has been developed and agreed by the relevant stakeholders.
“With respect to supporting enterprise development by indigenes of our host communities, Oriental Energy has trained well over 270 youths in skills acquisition centers located in Uyo, Oron, Eket and Enwang in Akwa Ibom State. Beneficiaries of the training received starter packs and start-up funds for their businesses. Also, 500 women have also been trained on business and financial literacy and seed funds were given to 200 of the women to start small scale business under our special economic programme for the communities in Mbo Local Government.
“The local fishermen were not left out in the scheme of things. Precisely in 2016, the company provided them with five modern fishing boats, nets and other equipment to enhance their productivity and economic growth as well as improve their standard of living”.