By Nosa Obaze,
The Edo State Government has said that its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) evaluation framework has helped in sustaining peace and cordial relationship between host communities and oil and gas companies in the state, noting that the state remains the most peaceful in the Niger Delta region.
Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Oil and Gas, Hon. Joseph Ugheoke, disclosed this in a chat with Journalists in the State capital, Benin City, adding that this was achieved by a comprehensive community relations evaluation template.
According to Hon. Ugheoke, “the state government appreciates the relative peace enjoyed by states in the region, especially as it concerns the long existing peace in communities hosting companies in the solid minerals, oil and gas sector.”
He said the government has developed a document that will allow her improve standard of evaluating the CSR programmes of companies and investors that operate in the state.
The document, he explained, “serves as a reference point for the communities and companies, as it is no longer fashionable for communities to sign agreement with companies and await crisis points before consulting government institutions, on the way out.”
Ugheoke added that the communities are already making contributions to fine-tune the framework, noting that efforts are underway to present the bill to the State House of Assembly for a law.
“In the first quarter of 2018, the state executive will present the document before the state Houses of Assembly as a bill, to allow the state regulate the relations between companies and host communities.”
He added that the state government intends to have a legal document that will spell out the number of persons from host communities to be employed by oil companies, both at the junior and management staff levels.