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Irona Charges Sterling Global On Corporate Social Responsibility

Source: Walter Duru, Ph.D
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Deputy Governor of Imo State, Engr. Gerald Irona has called on Multinational Oil and Gas Company, Sterling Global Oil Resources Limited to take Corporate Social Responsibility investments in their host communities seriously in order to enjoy the cooperation of the people.

The Deputy Governor who gave the advice while receiving a delegation of the company Thursday afternoon in his office used the occasion to direct that they set up an office in the state, in compliance with relevant laws.

He frowned at the attitude of some corporate organizations in the state that have refused to balance business interests with corporate philanthropy, warning that the state will not tolerate irresponsible behaviours from organizations.

He lamented the refusal of the organization to implement a Memorandum of Understanding it entered into with her host community - Agwa, in Oguta Local Government Area of the state since 2007, insisting that the company must have a Community Relations approach to issues of development in the area.

Engr. Irona also charged them to ensure that local content is accommodated in all that the organization does, as a way of giving members of the host communities a sense of belonging.

He expressed the willingness of the State Government to partner with Multinational Oil companies in the state on development.

Continuing, the Deputy Governor frowned at the company’s alleged roles in instigating crises in the area, warning that the state government will not tolerate acts capable of threatening peace and security in the area.

“How can you operate in an area for over ten years and you cannot take deliberate steps to assist the people with basic amenities? How can you have electricity in your Flow Station and the communities around do not have electricity? How can you have water and your host communities do not have? How can you be using the existing roads, trucking your Oil and you have not tarred one kilometer of road in the community? Is it fair? You have been operating in Agwa since 2007. You entered into an MOU with them, but you have refused to implement it? You operate in Imo State, but you do not have an office in the state. You destroy the roads and refuse to fix them?.”

Responding, Community Relations Manager of the organization, Emeka Nwachukwu apologized for the absence of the Chief Executive Officer of the organization, assuring that steps will be taken to improve on the company’s community relations investments in their host communities.

He further promised that urgent steps will be taken to implement the decisions reached at the meeting, including discussions around a Memorandum of Understanding with the host community.

On the Sterling Global’s delegation were: Community Relations Manager, Emeka Nwachukwu, Community Liaison Officer, Ikechukwu Akumonye, Col. D. Akama, Louis Jideofor, Chijioke Ukwu, Agada S.D. and Base Manager, Mr. S. Pramod.

On the Deputy Governor’s team were: Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Raymond Nkemdirim, Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of the Deputy Governor, Sydney Uneanya, Senior Special Assistant, Political, to the Deputy Governor, Chief Demian Ezeagu, Managing Director, Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC, Anthony Okwuosha, Member, ISOPADEC Board from the area, Smart Anumaka and Personal Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Economic matters, Bright Anyalewechi.

Walter Duru, Ph.D
Adviser, Media and Communications to the Deputy Governor

September 19, 2019