By DAPO FALADE
Oil giant, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) puts smiles on the face of the people Egi Communities in Rivers State as it donated relief materials and supported Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state.
The oil multinational donated relief materials to people who were adversely affected by flood in OML58 host communities as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Several Egi communities were presently submerged by devastating flood in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The items included food materials such as bags of rice, bags of beans, salt, kegs of palm oil, vegetable oil, bags of garri, yam tubers, beverages and other materials, including toiletries, beddings, mattresses, mosquito nets and insecticides, toiletries and blankets, among others.
Total Deputy Managing Director, Port Harcourt District, Engineer Guillaume Dulout who handed over the items to the King of Egiland for onward distribution to the affected people, said the gesture was the result of the goodwill and support which the company enjoys from the community.
Dulout, who was represented by the Deputy General Manager, Community Affairs, Engineer Okechukwu Obara, urged Egi leaders to ensure a judicious distribution of the items to the affected people who he said are in dire need of the items.
“We are here to commiserate with Egi people and Ogba people. It is unfortunate what you are passing through right now. Egi has been there for Total, that is why Total can never turn its back when Egi needed help.
“Instances abound when the Niger Delta region was a theatre of war, particularly against oil installation, but within that period, nothing happened to our operations in Egi, because of the relationship between Egi and Total.
“The company is aware that things like these will happen from time to time, and expectations will be high. So as soon as we got signals from NIMET about flood, estacodes were raised and committees were formed.
“So we are here to reach out to those people impacted by flood, particularly the vulnerable, the widows, children and women to alleviate their sufferings.
“We are not saying we will solve all the problems, but to say we understand you are in this difficulty and please accept this little we can give to you.”
The people of the Egi communities expressed gratitude to the oil company for the gesture, saying they are comforted to live through the natural disaster by genuine concerns by Total to mitigate their pains.
The King of Egiland, Professor Anele Nwokoma, who received the items on behalf of his people, commended Total for the gesture and for identifying with Egi to ameliorate the hardship of communities impacted by flood.
“I am for Total as much as for Egi, because if anything happens to Total operations, Egi will suffer and vice versa. The flood has not even receded,” he said.
The traditional ruler admonished the community leaders to ensure that the relief materials, including various food items, beddings, mattresses, mosquito nets and insecticides, benefit genuine flood victims in the are.
Also speaking, Chairman of Egi Clan Oil and Gas Landlords Producing Families and Communities, Hopeson Dike, commended the management of TEPNG for sharing in their pains.
“Just four months ago, we received palliatives from Total as COVID-19 spread peaked. Today, the company is here with relief materials promptly to support flood victims when government and other oil firms are hardly forthcoming to show support,” he said.
Dike also cautioned community leaders to be accountable with the relief materials to ensure it gets to the affected people.