Community threatens to shut alternative route to ExxonMobil

04 August 2015, Uyo – Edo community in the Esit Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has threatened to block the only alternative route that leads to ExxonMobil facilities in Ibeno, Ibeno LGA.

Our correspondent learnt that the decision to block the road was predicated on the gradual collapse of the road which leads through Ikot Afaha and Edo community to Ibeno.

The road was said to be mostly plied by the company’s workers following the bad state of the main road ─ Eket Ibeno Road.

A resident of the area, Mr. Edoho Ekong, told our correspondent on Monday that the youths of Edo and Ikot Afaha would soon protest against the use of the road by the ExxonMobil vehicles.

He said the communities frowned on the poor level of community relations existing between the company and the host communities, describing it as unfriendly.

“The lackadaisical attitude of the company to the host communities include lack of road maintenance, poor facilities in schools, lack of potable water, zero skill acquisition training and other basic amenities as part of the company’s corporate social responsibilities to the host communities,” he said.

Ekong told our correspondent that the newly constructed road had started to wear out as potholes had appeared from all sections of the road.

He added that the company had yet to think of what to do to rehabilitate the bad state of the road.

He said, “We are not happy over the level of the company’s relationship with the host communities. Like this road, the company was supposed to fill up these potholes since this is the only alternative road they have been using since the original ‘Grade B’ road has been in a critical condition.

“We are not happy, the road is gradually getting spoiled by the day; the ExxonMobil, whose employees are the ones using the road, is not thinking of repairing the road,” he said.

The Corporate Affairs Manager, ExxonMobil, Ms Regina Udobong, said the firm had budgeted N1.1bn for projects that would also include the communities.

She said the company would meet with the paramount ruler of the area shortly towards strengthening the relationship between the firm and the community.


– Punch

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