Activist Tasks IOCs On Corporate Social Responsibilities

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An international business executive and Ogoni born activist, Comrade Wisdom Mene, has urged international oil and gas companies and other corporate organisations operating in Rivers State to be committed in the discharge of their corporate social responsibilities to their host communities.
Comrade Mene gave the charge while speaking with The Tide in an exclusive interview at his office in Port Harcourt during the weekend.
He called on the IOCs to adhere to the principles of international best practices and desist from undermining host communities in their development policies.
He pointed out that most companies deliberately flout the agreements they signed with their host communities, noting that such tendencies breed conflicts among the corporate parties.
Citing the Ogoni experience as an example, he said the disagreement between the Shell and Ogoni was as a result of perceived neglect of the company towards the development of Ogoni, which resulted in the disengagement of Shell’s operation in the area.
He called on oil companies to learn from the Ogoni experience and improve on their community relations policies to enhance cordial relationship between them and their host communities.
Comrade Mene who is the Rivers State Coordinator of a group known as Good Governance Ambassadors of Nigeria (GOGAN), also called for transparency in Nigeria oil and gas sector.
He said the group is committed towards the promotion of good governance in Nigeria and urged the Federal Government to rid the oil and gas sector of corruption.
He also called for a review of Nigeria’s oil and gas laws to enhance ownership and community participation in the industry.
According to him, “Nigeria’s local content development and economic diversification policies can only succeed when the communities are given a sense of belonging. Indigenous contractors should be given opportunities to participate in the oil and gas sector; this will improve our local content and promote economic growth. There should be adequate incentives for local contractors to carry out their businesses.”