The Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mr Philip Okparaji has charged the management of Port Harcourt Refinery Company (PHRC) to take steps in improving Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) towards their host communities.
Okparaji said this during a courtesy visit on the management of the PHRC, Friday at the refinery.
The chairman stated the need for the company to pay more attention to their host communities by improving their CSR to the host communities, adding that this would help avert agitations by the host communities.
He decried the perceived neglect of host communities especially in the area of empowerment opportunities.
Okparaji also noted that involving host communities in their scheme of things would abate the current wave of agitations by the youths of the host communities.
He frowned at the refusal of PHRC to implement the recommendations of the 1999 Commission of Enquiry set up by the Rivers State Government which says that 50 percent of employers should be indigenes of Alesa and Eleme.
According to him, “In 1999, the Rivers State Government set up a commission of enquiry and the report actually favours the people of Eleme… part of the recommendation which has actually not been implemented.
The host communities should be given 50 percent in terms of employment opportunities. The society would only thrice on equity, fairness and justice.”
He used the opportunity to alert the management of PHRC on the environmental challenges facing the people of Eleme due to the activities of the company and condemned the deplorable state of the road leading to the PHRC.
In his response, the Managing Director, PHRC, Mr Abba Bukar, denied the company’s culpability in the environmental challenges facing the host communities, while expressing gratitude for peaceful atmosphere PHRC had enjoyed over the years and promised that the turnaround maintenance employment in the company would be drawn from Eleme and Okrika.