Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPENG), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with nine oil producing communities in Rivers and Abia states, to boost infrastructural and human capital development.The communities include, Ekpeye, Olo, Idu, Ikwere, Obio/Akpor, Etche in Rivers, and Owaza and Ndele in Abia states, respectively.
The Deputy Managing Director, Port Harcourt District, TEPENG, Francois le Cocq, at the formal signing ceremony of the MoUs in Port Harcourt, Wednesday, said the content and scope of the agreements have the potential to positively affect the lives of the communities, if all parties showed sincerity in implementation and management of the pacts.
Cocq, represented by the Executive General Manager, JV Field Operations, Vicent Kiehl, noted that the recession in the industry made a downward review of its previous MoUs inevitable.
He said: “Reflecting from the outcome of the reviews of the implementation of past agreements, I believe we have understood the causes and effects of our actions and inactions. We have observed and we are worried about some grey areas of our implementation strategies. We are concerned about the winner takes it all attitudes exhibited by various members of the committees.
“This has often led to disagreements and crisis within the rank and files in our communities. We have equally observed that basic principles of sustainability have not been integrated sufficiently in our choice of community development projects, and scholarships are not getting to the right candidates.”neither are they producing desired results as well as the skill acquisition.”
Cocq, however, charged the communities to ensure the implementation of the agreements, and address the identified needs of the community.Responding, the communities commended Total for efforts in ensuring development in the oil producing areas.
Speaking on behalf of Olo Community in Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers State, Anthony Wonah, said the firm has been committed in the implementation of its agreements in the area of infrastructural development, which has enhanced the living standard of the people.Other community representatives, who also spoke, called for the full and timely implementation of the MoUs.