From Joseph Obukata, Warri
Succour came the way of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Otu-jeremi and Okwagbe communities in Ughelli South and Udu local government areas as ND-Western Asset Management Team (AMT) and Nigeria Exploration and Production Limited/Joint Venture donated relief materials worth several millions of naira to flood victims in its host communities in Delta State.
Items such as bags of rice, beans, garri, beverages and assortment of other food items worth about N20 million were distributed at Otu-jeremi and Okwagbe IDPs camps set up by the state government for flood victims within its area of operations.
Mr. Sheidu Aiguedo, manager, government, community relations and security, who presented the relief materials on behalf of the management and staff of NEPL/ND Western OML 34 AMT, said that the gesture was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to its host communities as it had always done.
He said the company had always stood tall in its avowed commitment to ameliorate the suffering of the people of its host communities when the need arises.
Aiguedo, who described the flood as “the worst experience in many years in this country”, said many of the flood victims who are stakeholders in the firm’s areas of operation were severely impacted by the flood, as many of them lost their farms and crops.
He explained that the firm identified with the host communities during the massive flood in 2018 which wreaked havock in several communities and that in 2020 during the Covid 19 pandemic they supported the state government with medical equipment and came to the aid of host communities and gave them massive food items as a way of supporting and helping them during the lock down.
He said: “We recognise that it will be difficult for them now because most of their farm land has been taken over by flood. We all know their major plant is cassava and when you have such things submerged in flood it becomes a serious problem. So we know it is going to be difficult for them so we thought this is another time to come and support them. That’s the reason we brought food items to come and support them.
“We brought cow to help them, we brought rice, bean and assortment of food items. We’re here to identify with them. We see them as our major stakeholders and there’s no better time than now to come and support them.
“It is a continuous demonstration of our corporate social responsibility and also in appreciation of the support we are getting from our host communities. So there is no end to our corporate social responsibility. So whenever there are challenges of this nature we feel it is incumbent on us to come and support them.
According to Sheidu Aiguedo, it is part of corporate social responsibility to also assist the government in whatever they are doing to assuage the suffering of the people hence those at the IDP camp set up by Delta State Oil Mineral Development Commission (DESOPADEC) were also taken care of.
“Our plan is to reach Otu-Jeremi and Okwagbe. There is an internally displaced people camp at Okwagbe set up by DESOPADEC. It’s our social corporate responsibilities to assist the government.
“We feel that as a responsible company whenever there are challenges of this nature we should come in and support them”, he said.
He, however, dismissed claims that they delayed in reaching out to the victims, saying: “It is not true that we delayed in coming here, this camp was not here before. The camp that was set up for this environment was in Okwagbe and reason for the community setting up this one was because of the distance”.
He said that the camp was overflowing with people who were originally not in the camp or displaced by the flood but had joined the camp dwellers to share from the items brought for the IDPs.
“People who are not even residents of the community are all here because they want to get a piece of the action. But for those who are here we have enough to help them, he said.