ExxonMobil Boosts A’Ibom Community with N13bn Investments, Economic Benefits
Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC/ MPN) joint venture is almost a household name in Akwa Ibom State.
An affiliate of ExxonMobil Corporation, it often sees itself as a good corporate citizen and has affirmed that its presence in Akwa Ibom State is for a long haul; to showcase the company’s commitment to “working closely with the government in helping to improve quality of life.”
Since it began operations more than three decades ago and with its base in Akwa Ibom State, the oil company has contributed to the economy of the state and that of the federal government through its numerous programmes and projects. In many ways, it has made investments in education, health, skill development and in forging a mutually beneficial relationship with the host communities.
Apart from the oil company’s commitment to provide long term health, educational and economic benefits to its host communities, it recently performed the ground-breaking ceremony of three major community assistance projects in Akwa Ibom estimated to be worth N13 billion. The ceremony took place in Ikot Akata, Mkpat Enin local government area of the state.
Before this event, ExxonMobil subsidiaries have ‘powered the economy of their neighbouring communities’ and that of the country with investments supporting economic growth.
For instance, they have contributed more than N130 billion to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) since 2001 and more than N230 million ground rent to Akwa Ibom State. It is also a major contributor to the state’s economy with over N230 billion annually from the 13 per cent derivation principle for oil producing states.
The oil company has also sustained payment of subvention to health workers in the riverine Ibeno communities of the state for more than two decades and has been providing subvention to the maternal birth injury hospital in Itu, Akwa Ibom State for the same period; a development that helped many to have access to healthcare for the treatment of an ailment that the society stigmatises such patients.
“ExxonMobil is our backbone; the oil company gives us certain amount of money every month to support us,’’ says Ngozi Ndubuau, the matron of the hospital which treats ViscoVaginal Fistula (VVF) cases.
For the ground-breaking event, another example of the company’s contribution to the state and its people, the projects include a technical skills acquisition facility at the Community Technical College, Mkpat Enin local government area, a trauma centre at the University of Uyo teaching hospital, and an engineering faculty complex at the University of Uyo.
Estimated to be completed over the next 18 months, it is believed that the investment is one of the largest community investment expenditure by any company in the country.
Significantly, while the trauma centre would take care of the health needs of the people, the engineering faculty would when completed provide a conductive learning environment for students, while the skills acquisition centre will serve as the hub for the training of youths in various vocations.
Because of the volume of the investment and coming at a time when it seems difficult for oil companies to commitment to developing their host communities, the ceremony turned out to be a meeting point for top government officials and key players in Nigeria’s oil industry.
For instance, the Chairman/Managing Director of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Paul McGrath, and vice chairman of the oil company, Udom Inoyo, led the delegation to the ground-breaking ceremony.
Also, the Akwa Ibom State government was fully represented with Governor Udom Emmanuel, alongside the deputy governor, Moses Ekpo, and the secretary to the state government, Emmanuel Ekuwem, commissioners as well as royal fathers and the academia.
Speaking at the ceremony, McGrath noted with satisfaction the cordial relationship existing between the oil company and the state government restating the joint venture’s commitment to long-term operations and mutually beneficial relationship with the state.
R-L: Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel; MD/Chairman ExxonMobil, Paul McGrath; General Manager, Gas Division, NAPIMS /NNPC, Hillary Akpan; and Vice Chairman, ExxonMobil, Udom Inoyo, at the ground-breaking ceremony for ExxonMobil’s N13bn community...