JOE EFFIONG, UYO
Militant groups on the platform of Niger Delta Volunteers have lambasted Oriental Energy Resources Ltd for defaulting in the corporate social responsibilities of providing scholarships in secondary and tertiary institutions but condescending to donating sanitary pads to teenage girls in Akwa Ibom State
The militants, who however issued no threat, said it was shameful and demeaning for the oil firm to issue out ‘mere’ sanitary pads in the guise of carrying out its corporate social responsibility.
Oriental Energy Resources Limited, an acclaimed indigenous oil exploration firm, had last week donated sanitary pads to about 1000 teenage girls in two secondary schools in the state to commemorate this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day.
The managing director of the company, Mr Mustafa Indimi who was represented by the company’s head of government and community relations, Mr Uwem Ite, has said the “Day is normally celebrated and used to highlight the importance of menstrual care and raise awareness about the issues faced by those who do not have access to sanitary products.”
“This is the overriding reason for our sponsorship of this programme for the benefits of JSS2 and JSS3 girls in this community school.
“Our support for 2022 Menstrual Hygiene Day is also a contribution toward fighting period poverty, improving health and promoting gender equality in education. These issues are all in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3, 4 and 5 adopted by the United Nations in September 2015.”
But in a statement signed by Major-General Henry Okon Etete for Niger Delta Volunteers, Major-General Inibeghe Adams for Niger Delta Republic Fighters and Major-General Ekpenyong Akan for Niger Delta Watchdogs, the militants said the firm’s sanitary pads gifts was totally acceptable.
The militants said; “This is totally acceptable and we view it as an insult on the collective intelligence of our people. How can they even plan to buy sanitary pads for schools in Akwa Ibom State?
“This is totally unacceptable for an exploration company which has been drilling and polluting our environment over the years without any meaningful projects to host communities.
“What happened to the yearly scholarships from pre-primary school to tertiary institutions contained in the Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the host communities?
“We call on the management of Oriental Energy Resources Ltd to do the needful by implementing the contents of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the host communities or prepare to face our actions at the appropriate time”. The group said
All efforts to get the reaction of the Oriental Energy Resources Limited to the militants statement proved abortive as its head of government and community relations, Mr Uwem Ite, neither picked the several calls made to his line, nor responded to a message sent to his WhatsApp line.