Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
A twin two-bedroom in flats constructed at Ulogbor and Umungede in Igiriukwu Autonomous Communities of Owaza in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State was recently commissioned and handed over to the communities.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the General Manager of Joint Venture Onshore Field Operation of TEPNG, Mr Linne Ludovic, said that the objective of the project was to make it self-sustainable so as to generate revenue for the concerned communities of Ulogor and Umungede.
The project, he said, was nominated by the Owaza community as one of their North Options, NOPL Pipeline Project Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with TEPNG (Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited), saying that the building construction project was awarded to the community-nominated vendors in 2015 and successfully completed in 2017 with a block wall fence.
He assured that TEPNG as a responsible multi-national organization would continue to partner with her host communities in the area of sustainable development as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
He said that they have a policy to honour all commitments freely entered with their host and neighbouring communities, as well as other stakeholders.
“The tradition is to ensure that such engagements are met within a reasonable time-frame in order to maintain our integrity and build confidence with all stakeholders,” he said.
Ludovic seized the opportunity to commend the leadership of the communities for their encouragement and support to see that the project was successfully completed and commissioned.
The Community Relations Manager, Offshore and Port Harcourt, Okechukwu Obara, promised that Total E &P Nigeria Ltd would continue to attract more projects to the Owaza community.
He said the company would look into the MoU signed with the community to see how to amend it, since they (the Owaza Community) are no longer comfortable with the content of the MoU.
On the issue of employment of Owaza people in the company, Obara said employments were made based on the number of spaces in the company, but assured that when the need arises, the company would employ their brilliant sons and daughters.
Speaking respectively, the traditional rulers that made up the Owaza cluster, HRH Eze Ikemefule Christian Ukegbu from Isietitioha autonomous community; HRM Eze Young Ogbonna Nwokoru from Ipu West autonomous community and HRH Eze Jonathan Ezere from Igiriukwu autonomous community, commended Total E&P for the project and appealed that the MoU they signed with them be modified.
The traditional rulers appealed for electricity, scholarships and employment for their sons and daughters, pointing out that most of their children are capable and trainable for Total E&P jobs.
Eze Ezere of Igiriukwu community specially thanked Total E&P for the project and expressed optimism that more good things would come the way of the community through the company.
He said the community had planned to rent out the flats so as to boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the community.
Earlier in a welcome address jointly signed by Elder Christopher Chibor, Chairman Amala Umungede and Sunday Ebere, Chairman Amala Ulogor, they appealed that all contracts from the company be done by the indigenes of the communities.
They said that the project commissioned “can attest that we can do even more; since it was done by our people and the work was not only well done, but also done according to the time schedule”.
The Chairmen said: “The Igiriukwu community is asking that you extend this gesture to other autonomous communities in Owaza as it will bring the much needed peace and development to the entire Owaza community”.
They commended the traditional ruler of Igiriukwu kingdom, HRH Eze Jonathan Onwugbufor Ezere, who they said was always coming frequently to the site of the projects to see that the needful was done and the entire Amala of Umungede and Ulogor for unanimously agreeing to execute such a magnificent project in the community without division or grudges.
The Chairman of Ukwa West L.G.A, Hon. Nwaobiwe Goodluck who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Elder Sam Onyembi and other dignitaries from the communities graced the occasion.