Moni Pulo Limited, one of Nigeria’s pioneer indigenous oil and natural gas exploration and production companies, was commended for handing over a fully furnished state-of-the-art ICT Centre to Community Secondary School, Unyenghe, Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, as part of its impactful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Top echelons of the petroleum industry regulators, Akwa Ibom state commissioners, and Mbo Local Government Area traditional rulers, women, and youth leaders were gathered on Wednesday, 27 September 2022 to witness the landmark commissioning.
Engr. Gbenga Komolafe FNSE, Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulator Commission (NUPRC), who was represented by the Commission’s Regional Coordinator, Mr. Godday Iney, praised Moni Pulo for making its work easier by complying with the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and impressive impact of its CSR in its host communities.
He said, “We are here to witness what you have done; another milestone in capacity development initiatives of Moni Pulo, which is key to the Upstream Commission. This is what we preach. This is corporate social responsibility. We can see that you are not a major operator. You operate in what we call the marginal field but most of the time you make us proud in the Commission at what you are doing for the people of your [host] communities, Mbo. We also have major operators in this State. Sometimes we begin to wonder if your production quota is now higher than the major operators.”
Engr. Komolafe also lauded Mbo, especially the traditional rulers and key stakeholders, for prioritizing the interest and development of their people.
He said that the peace being enjoyed in the communities reflected the genuine interests of all parties to promote sustainable development.
“Hold on to that peace,” he said. “The PIA is for you: the Host Community. We are highly supportive of you. We came here to see what Moni Pulo is doing so that we can also see whether they have fallen in line with the Host Community Development Trust. But I must tell you that they keep making our job easier in this zone. We are glad to see what we see today, that [they] are complying with the Act.”
The Akwa Ibom State governor, His Excellency Emmanuel Udom, was represented by the state Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr. John James Etim and his Education counterpart, Mrs Enobong Udemeabasi Mbobo.
Dr. Etim commended Moni Pulo for being a corporate partner that interpreted the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel on human capacity development, educational endowment, healthcare delivery, infrastructural development and the maintenance of peace.
“It could [be recalled] that during the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down in 2020, the company, understanding the challenges of the time, donated some ambulances to State Government,” he said.
He continued, “Also, sometime last year, I was equally invited to witness the presentation of motorcycles to youths of its Host Communities which was a gesture to enhance the human capital development and economic well-being of the people. Providing this ICT Centre for the Community School is a means of provoking the students’ consciousness to thrive in their educational pursuit which is in line with the Dakkada Philosophy of this Administration.”
The Commissioner tasked the students to take advantage of the ICT Centre to advance their knowledge of information and communication technology because according to him, ICT is currently the “in-thing” in society.
He also expressed delight that with the good connectivity network in the area, the ICT facility could serve as a JAMB Centre because of the number of computers available and advised the principal of the school to source for good computer teachers and technologists to run the Centre.
The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Enobong Udemeabasi Mbobo, noted that because the future lies in technology, anyone who is not computer literate would not be competitive.
“So, we are very happy and appreciate the fact that Moni Pulo deemed it necessary to set up an ICT Centre here,” said the Commissioner who was represented by Lady Rose Bassey, adding that the provision of the facility is a thing of joy to Akwa Ibom State government.
Earlier, in her welcome address, Moni Pulo’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr. Mrs. Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs, paid glowing tribute to the legacy and memory of the company’s Founder and pioneer Chairman, High Chief (Dr.) O. B. Lulu-Briggs, whom she said inspired the company’s strong policy on community development.
“Our acclaimed status of excellent Corporate Social Responsibility activities in our host communities draws inspiration, guiding light and counsel from his unfeigned altruistic disposition to all those that crossed his path,” she said.
According to Dr. Lulu-Briggs, who was represented by Moni Pulo’s Manager of Admin and Community Relations, Sir Chief Daerego Clifford, the company has had a long-term symbiotic relationship with the people of Mbo Local Government Area.
She said: “Since 1999 we have been in your lives, working hard to leave positive footprints in Mbo Local Government Area. Moni Pulo’s Corporate Social Responsibility package is structured along four core areas: Educational Development, Skills Acquisition & Empowerment, Infrastructural Development, Sports and Social Welfare.”
“It is believed that capacity building will ameliorate the Niger Delta region’s economic challenges and reduce the incidences of youth restiveness. Moni Pulo understands the importance of education to any developing nation like Nigeria and the need for corporate organizations to partner with Government to provide quality education to its citizenry, thus Moni Pulo has taken this cause further by the establishment of this fully furnished ICT Centre at Community Secondary School, Unyenghe, Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.”
Dr. Lulu-Briggs said it was Moni Pulo’s customary practice to carry out due consultations with its host communities to capture the actual needs of the people. She said this was responsible for its investment in the ICT Centre.
She expressed confidence that the PIA will foster sustainable development and harmonious co-existence between host communities and operators in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. “As a company, we have commenced this statutory obligation in earnest,” she said.
In his goodwill message, the Paramount Ruler of Mbo, HRM, Ogwang Okon Asuquo Abang urged the youth leaders to watch over the facility with their “two eyes wide open” to ensure that the facility is not vandalized.
The Executive Chairman of Mbo Local Government Area, Rt. Hon. Asukwo Effiong, applauded Moni Pulo for identifying with the people, stating that the ICT Centre would expose their children to the internet which, he stressed is now ruling the world.
He told every stakeholder in the area to take it as a duty to preserve and manage the facility, adding, “If you allow people who may not know the value of those items to destroy or steal them, then the benefit in providing the ICT Centre would be defeated”.
The Principal of Community Secondary School, Unyenge, Mr. Victor Tom, expressed the elation of the students and school management for the ICT Centre. He thanked Moni Pulo for the noble project and assured that all hands would be on deck, not only to ensure the safety of the facility but that it would become a useful resource for the entire community.
After the commissioning, excited students milled around the new facility, many already using the computers.