By Tony Ehighiale, Benin
The Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II has tasked management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to provide food security for host communities in its areas of operations.
Oba Ewuare II said one of the ways for the NNPC to provide food security for host communities is to give indigenous of the communities priority in the terms of contract award and employment into the corporation or its subsidiaries.
He spoke when he received the Group Managing Director(GMD) of the NNPC, Dr. Maicanti Baru, at his palace in Benin City.
The Benin Monarch noted that it would be proper if more indigenous of oil producing communities are in sufficient numbers in the employment of NNPC indulging its management team.
Oba Ewuare II said adoption of schools or engaging in corporate social responsibilities were not enough if the corporation failed to provide food sufficiency for the host communities.
He suggested the creation of a liaison officer for better understanding on the impact the NNPC is making in various communities where it operates.
His words, “It will be helpful if we know the ratio of your employment of locals. You have to provide food sufficiency by employing people. Give priority to people in the catchment areas in terms of contracts and employment.
“We want more indigenous of host communities in your management team.”
Dr. Baru on his part said he was in the palace to solicit the Monarch support in protecting the corporation facilities in the state and put an end to pipeline vandalism.
Baru stated that the NNPC has spent huge sums of money meant for meaningful development to repair the vandalised pipelines.
He appealed to Oba Ewuare II to help educate the people of oil and gas producing communities in the country to provide enabling environment for economic benefits to the people.
In a chat with newsmen, Dr. Baru urged militants to stop degrading their environment by bombing pipelines.
He said “Product pipelines have also suffered huge losses with the attendant cost of repairs. For example, the Warri – Benin pipeline has almost become impossible to upgrade because when you put products from Warri refinery, almost fifty percent of these products is either stolen through tapping of the pipeline or outright vandalism.”