Ensuring better well-being for host communities, former Bayelsa commissioner urges CIOs

Silva Opuala Charles


A former Finance Commissioner of Bayelsa State, Dr. Silva Opuala-Charles, has urged international oil companies in the Niger Delta region to ensure better welfare for their host communities.

Opuala-Charles, an economist and president of Garden City Premier Business School, said this during a presentation on the environmental, social and governance model, at an MCPD workshop, hosted by the Institute’s Rivers State Chapter. of Strategic Management Nigeria, in Port Harcourt, on Saturday.

Speaking against the neglect of rural communities by oil companies, he said IOC must ensure the sustainability of companies, taking care of the environment and the people in the communities where they operate.

He said oil companies should do better for rural communities by cleaning up the environment after the spill and creating job opportunities for its people.

He said, “Look what the oil companies have done, they’re messing up the environment and not cleaning up. They can still do what they do and take care of communities, ensuring that the environment and host communities are taken care of, employing and training them.

“If they had trained a lot of our people today in the river community and the Niger Delta, and fifty percent of the employees are from that region, I don’t think they will have the problems they have. “

Speaking on the corporate social responsibility of oil companies in the region, Opuala-Charles, while expressing displeasure, explained that oil companies have not done much in the area of ​​CSR compared to the benefits financial resources they derive from operating in rural areas.

According to him, as part of their corporate social responsibility, oil companies can organize well-intentioned programs, trainings and competitions to keep young people engaged, noting that through this, issues of insecurity and removal in the area can be erased.

“CSR is very important. Oil companies and other businesses should look into CSR for young people in particular. If young people take care of it, this security crisis will be reduced.

“Young people have a lot of unused energy and they are looking for what to do with it. So CSR is key and I don’t think they do enough for CSR and sport can be a major area. »