• Monday, July 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Rivers, Akwa Ibom communities get Total E&P new deal

French oil giant, Total E&P Nigeria, and communities in Akwa Ibom State and the Amah Community in Rivers State have renewed partnership agreements (memorandum of understanding) at the oil company’s Port Harcourt office, as part of efforts to sustain relationship with its host communities.

The new MoUs were entered into after the expiration of previous agreements. For Akwa Ibom communities, the MoU would last for three years (2015 – 2017), and applicable to each of the coastline communities cut across 13 local government areas, and upland communities in 14 local government areas.

The package covers scholarship awards at post-secondary and post-graduate levels (local and foreign), skills development, micro-credit and a development envelope for execution of projects/ programmes nominated by each community and within an agreed budget.

According to Nicolas Brunet, Total E&P’s deputy managing director, Port Harcourt District, “the MoU signing ceremony is usually a big milestone for us in our relationship with our host communities, as it provides the guidelines for effective management of our relationships.”

Brunet, who highlighted the global challenges being faced by the oil and gas industry, assured the communities that Total, as a responsible company, would assist in the development of its host communities.

“Our objectives remain to assist in the development of the communities around our operations, and to make them autonomous and sustainable; not to depend on oil and gas for life,” the MD said.

A 53-man implementation committee was set up to implement the Akwa Ibom MoU. The chairman of the committee is a Total staff, with a representative from the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), 39 from the host communities and nine from Akwa Ibom government.

For the Amah community in Rivers State, the MoU covers scholarships, skills development and infrastructure development.

Meanwhile, the Total E&P deputy managing director, Brunet has said the oil company’s planned industrial park at Egi land would boost non-oil and gas industries and other businesses in the area.

He said the oil company intended to be proactive in developing alternative energy sources and fast-track economic development in the host communities, which would require the support of partners.

Brunet said Total need commitments from would-be companies investing in the industrial park to develop their businesses quickly for economic progression, employ people in the local communities and build relationships by positively making impact in the areas.