13 January 2019, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Rivers youths under the auspices of Ekpeye Youth Congress, EYC Worldwide, has charged oil multinationals and other organizations operating in Ekpeye-land to improve in their corporate social responsibility to host communities in Ahoada-East and Ahoada-West Local Government Areas of Rivers State.
This was part of the resolution reached by the group at its stakeholders’ meeting on the peaceful collaboration of Ekpeye people with multinational oil companies operating in the area.
A communique read by President General of EYC, Mr. Ogboka Umeda, and Secretary Mr. Kennedy Imo said the meeting was imperative in order to ensure a smooth and peaceful operation of oil companies in Ekpeye land, so as to guarantee increased government revenues.
Umeda regretted that Ekpeye-land has witnessed the resurgence of kidnappings, robberies etc, which has long abated, and the recent resumption of vandalization of oil and gas installations by criminals resulting in environmental damages, thereby depriving the people means of livelihood such as farming and fishing.
The communique reads in parts, “To chart a new course for the benefit and development of Ekpeye youths and the people by ensuring the commencement of demanding through legitimate means, what is due to the youths and our people from the multinational oil companies operating in Ekpeye land.
“That the multinational oil companies and other organizations doing business in Ekpeye land should improve in their corporate social responsibility to host communities in Ekpeye land.
“That all stakeholders in Ekpeye Youth Congress and other recognized statutory bodies and organizations in Ekpeye land, should work as a team and give full support to the Ekpeye Youths Congress Worldwide, saddled with the statutory duty of legitimately demanding our rights where necessary from oil and gas companies working on Ekpeye soil.
“That all stakeholders in Ekpeye and other recognized and statutory bodies and organizations in Ekpeye land should support the Ekpeye Oil and Gas Committee already constituted by the Eze Ekpeye Logbo of Ekpeye land under the chairmanship of Esama Ekpeye Logbo, Rt. Hon Chibudom Nwuche, saddled with the responsibility of interacting with oil & gas companies on GMOUs, complainants of marginalization by the youths, scholarships, bursaries, welfare etc.”
The group in the communique affirmed the stakeholders’ commitment to maintaining peace in their respective communities to help improve the production of oil and gas for the development of the country.
“The meeting further resolved to work with the security agencies, the federal and Rivers state government in ensuring a peaceful environment that will attract multinational oil companies and other investors for the purpose of doing business in our state and creating employment for our teeming youths who are unemployed.”
It should be noted that Ekpeye land which comprises of Ahoada-West and parts of Ahoada-East Local Government Areas of Rivers State, plays host to several oil firms including Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, TEPNG, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC as well as other indigenous oil firms.