Port Harcourt — Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, has charged oil firms operating in the area, to establish a more cordial relationship with the host communities, through employment and empowerments.
Council Chairman, Rowland Sekibo, gave the charge when NNPC/NewCross JV donated a block of four units self contained guest house to her host community, Idama Community.
Sekibo, who commended NewCross for the project, also tasked the oil firm to employ youths in the area and empower the people, for a peaceful relationship.
“We say a very big thank you to NNPC/NewCross JV for this laudable project. On our part as a community, I want to say that by the special grace of God, this project will be put to judicious use.
“And I want to tell NewCross, thank God you have witnessed it and you can attest to the fact that Idama community is peaceful. I wouldn’t want the company to take our peaceful disposition for granted.
“The youths who have exercised restraint and patience, apart from this that you have done and others that you will do. I want to particularly ask that our youths be employed in your company.
“Contracts too should be given to our people, we have the manpower, there is no kind of contract that you want to give, that members of the community do not have the capacity to deliver.”
Responding, the representative of NewCross/NNPC JV, Ben Njoku, said the company will improve on its relationship with the community.
Njoku also appealed to members of the host community to maintain the existing peaceful relationship with the company.
“We have seen the project, one phase of it is completed. We have looked at the environment here and affirm that something needs to be done. We have also noted the pitfalls that needs to be corrected in the interiors.
“We want to particularly appreciate the community for their peaceful coexistence and corelationship with NewCross, this peace had drawn this development here and I am also using this opportunity to appeal to them to keep up the peace.
“Because it’s only a situation of peace like this that development and progress can come.”
For his part, the Paramount Ruler of Idama community, Kariboye Karibo, said the community will ensure the use of a better means settling dispute when the need arises.
“Never you take your host community for granted. We as a people decided to come and commission this project, knowing fully well that the project is yet to be completed but we believe that whatsoever needs to be rectify, should be rectified here, while the company do the needful.
“After the commissioning, if you don’t come and do the needful, you won’t like the other part of us. We the people of Idama, do not believe in carrying guns, we believe that the pen is stronger than the sword.”