Port Harcourt — As the world marks international women’s day today, French oil giant, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, TEPNG, has affirmed it commitment to support women both in its host communities and within its workspace.
Deputy Managing Director of Total, Port Harcourt District, Mr Guillaume Dulout, disclosed this at the event organized by the company to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day celebration for its host community women.
Dulout said the theme for this year, “choose to challenge” was apt and coming at the right time, explaining that it was in the choice (to challenge) that a better world will emerge.
He urged everyone to support and spread the awareness among people regarding women’s right for social justice and gender equality, as well as celebration of women, who have distinguished themselves in social, economic, cultural and political endeavors.
“I can see amongst all of you here today, women who fit into these various spheres of achievement and growth. Women should and
ought to be recognized for who they are, and their contributions to the world, without gender biases or barriers.
“Total E&P Nigeria Limited has always supported our women, be they in the communities or within our workspace.
“Our pledge to support them is embodied in our targeted social enhancement programs which are designed for the exclusive benefit of women groups, including widows in the host communities.
“And I wish to use this opportunity to implore you, our mothers and sisters, to help the company deliver on these initiatives in a peaceful ambiance in your respective communities.”
Dulout represented by the General Manager, Community Affairs Project and Development, Mr. Obinna Ofoezie, acknowledged the contributions of women towards the successes, which the company has recorded in some of its empowerment programs in her host communities.
He said the company looks forward to more pragmatic co-operations with the women groups, to further building a mutually beneficial relationship for all, in the future.
“Though our reality has changed with the covid-19 pandemic and we are leaning how to interact and do things differently, we are
not deterred; and will continue to pursue our goals of peaceful and sustainable partnerships with our host communities.
“We will continue to insist on safe and environmentally sustainable means of operating, despite the constant challenges of acts of vandalism, forced stoppages of operations and sundry demands on the company and her service providers.”
For her part, one of the keynote speakers at the event and former NDDC Boss, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, urged women to always speak out everywhere on issues that concerns women, while advocating for a legislation against discrimination of women.
Semenitari also said support structure for women must be put in place, to ensure more women have access to reach their potentials in every sphere of human endeavor.
“The first thing is how to raise our daughters at home. The matter of education is important.
Government have a role to play, we must begin to put in place things like the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDOW) principle.
“The Equal Opportunities Bill has been a battle. We need to put in place legislations that makes it possible for more women to have access. We must take away violence from our elections because women cannot cope with violence.”