ExxonMobil Resolves Differences With Host Communities
05 Oct 2011: Inemesit Ina
To resolve the lingering differences between ExxonMobil and its host communities, the Akwa Ibom State Government has set up a committee to work out a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties.
|L –R : The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Nsima Ekere; the Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil, Mr. Mark Ward; and Mrs. Glory Essien-Darner, an Executive Director with the company after a meeting between ExxonMobil top management and its host communities facilitated by the State Government at Government House, Uyo, on Tuesday|
The State Deputy Governor, Mr. Nsima Ekere, announced this Tuesday while addressing newsmen after a meeting between top management staff of ExxonMobil and leaders of the host communities facilitated by the State Government in Government House, Uyo.
Mr. Ekere explained that a new MOU was necessary as the old one signed in 1998 could no longer stand the test of time. He said the committee, chaired by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Godwin Afangideh, has four weeks to come up with an acceptable MOU that will address the issues discussed at the meeting, particularly the yearnings and aspirations of the host communities within the capabilities of ExxonMobil.
The Deputy Governor named other members of the committee as Senator Etang Umoyo, Prof. Etie Ben Akpan, Barrister Charles Inyang and Barrister Enobong Etteh, representing the four core local government areas of Esit Eket, Eket, ONNA, and Ibeno as well as the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Assam Assam SAN.
Chief Effiong Achianga and Barrister Bassey Nkanang are to represent the interests of traditional rulers and youths in the committee while Prince Enobong Uwah, the State Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources is to serve as the secretary.
ExxonMobil is to nominate its representatives to the committee. The Deputy Governor, who described the meeting as a fresh start for the two sides, stated government’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of the issues canvassed at the meeting and urged the stakeholders to cooperate with the committee in the interest of all.
The Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil, Mr. Mark Ward, who led the company’s delegation to the meeting, said ExxonMobil was committed to ensuring a peaceful harmonious relationship with the host communities.
Mr. Ward thanked the State Government for facilitating the meeting which, according to him, has paved the way for resolving the issues at stake. Among those who spoke at the meeting were the Paramount Ruler of ONNA, Akwa Edidem Akpabio Udo Ukpa, Chief Effiong Achianga, Senator Etang Umoyo, Chief Daniel Nwaenang, Bishop Samuel Akpan, Barrister Bassey Nkanang and an Executive Director of ExxonMobil, Mr. Udom Inoyo.