07 March 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Seven Energy has reaffirmed its commitment to implement the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights initiative, VPI.
The reassurance was given during hosting of the Steering Committee of the VPI at the Seven Energy Security Forum in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
The Seven Energy Security Forum is a monthly stakeholder engagement held in Akwa Ibom state to facilitate dialogue and flow of information between oil and gas companies and related government security agencies in Akwa Ibom State.
Delegation from the VPI, led by the Chairman of the Global Steering Committee, Ronald Roosdorp, included representatives from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ghana and the UK as well as from International and Nigerian companies and non-governmental organisations who are signatories to the VPI.
Speaking at the Forum, Ian Brown-Peterside, Managing Director Midstream, Seven Energy, expressed delight at the visit of the delegates.
“We are delighted to host the Voluntary Principles delegation, and particularly pleased to welcome the delegation to the Security Forum. We are fully committed to upholding human rights and ethical behaviors, and central to this is engaging communities and stakeholders proactively and consistently. The Security Forum is an important part of this ongoing engagement – our membership of the VPI is not just lip service. We have a strong focus on and commitment to compliance issues and human rights and our membership of VPI is a confirmation of that commitment. We are indeed living up to the tenets”.
While commenting on the significance of the visit by the Steering Committee, Brown-Peterside pointed out the importance of the gathering at providing an avenue to directly relate with its stakeholders.
“It was an excellent opportunity to engage directly with our key stakeholders, government security agencies, the steering committee and other members of the VPI from all over the world. We demonstrated how we implement the voluntary principles in our operations and are proud that Seven Energy is the first and only indigenous oil and gas company to sign up to the VPI.
In his remarks Ronald Roosdorp, Committee Chairman of VPI, highlighted that:‘Collaboration is helping to achieve more synergy and better results and companies have a big role to play in engaging communities. The VPI has come a long way in 15 years. We engage organisations, government and other stakeholders. We also have sessions with government where we discuss issues such as outreach. This forum with Seven Energy is a giant step in the right direction and we shall be taking back a lot of ideas and suggestions to the Steering Committee.”
He then highlighted the potentials of implementing the VPI to Nigeria.
“Diligent implementation of the VPI holds numerous potential benefits for Nigeria including peace-building, conflict prevention, enhanced governance of the extractive sector, promotion and protection of human rights, improving dialogue, cordiality, collaboration and problem-solving amongst stakeholders in the extractive sector with respect to issues of security and human rights. The VPI is also an immensely useful tool for attaining the objectives of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Last but not least, the VPI promotes a safe and more predictable business environment, which is conducive in attracting foreign investment. As a result local employment may increase.”
The Voluntary Principles are the only human rights guidelines designed specifically for extractive sector companies, and provide guidance on risk assessment, public safety and security, protection of human rights and the interaction between companies and private security.
Seven Energy was admitted into the Corporate Pillar category of the VPI in February 2016 and is the first and only indigenous (Nigerian) oil and gas company to be admitted, and the first ‘junior international oil company’ globally.
Through its participation in the VPI, Seven Energy has aligned its corporate policies and procedures with internationally recognised human rights principles in the provision of security for its operations.