Rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery will pay off, MD assures
The Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), Ahmed Dikko, an engineer, has advised Nigerians not to listen to rumour mongers and peddlers of falsehood who are bent on derailing the refinery rehabilitation project.
Speaking during sensitisation seminars/workshops held at the PHRC Multipurpose Hall for various segments of the host communities, recently, he encouraged the people to seek clarifications through the designated channels of communications and disregard any information on the exercise that did not emanate from the management or representatives of the company.
Dikko, who was represented by the Executive Director, Services, Mr. Babatunde Sofowora, said the seminars were organised to create an avenue for the representatives to interact with the management of PHRC on the rehabilitation project and to assure them that their interest would be protected.
The seminars/workshops were part of the enlightenment campaigns by the company aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere in the host communities for the successful completion of the rehabilitation exercise.
To this end, an enlarged in-house Joint Community Relations Committee, (JCRC) was inaugurated and mandated to coordinate the activities with the wider Joint Committees of the two host communities of Eleme and Okrika.
The sensitisation exercise involved over 75 representatives from the two host communities who were drawn from youth’s organs, undergraduate forums, graduates associations, market women and chiefs of the communities.
Dikko said: “We are all brothers and sisters and it is in our interest to protect the interest of the community. So trust us on this. We are all interested in seeing a refinery that is working, that will benefit our people; that will boost the local economy and create opportunities for our women and children and business people.
“But we don’t want you to listen to the voice of rumour. We have heard many things circulating in the communities about rehabilitation and other things. They are rumours. We don’t want you to listen to rumours. If you have anything to clarify, go to the chairmen or other members of the JCRC. They will come to us and we would give them the correct information.
“If you hear anything, ask us. Seek clarifications from us all the time and we would be open with you because we regard you as partners in this process.
“You are like the go-between for the company and the communities. Carry this message to your people that this rehabilitation will pay off in the long run when the refinery starts working at over 90 per cent capacity. Let us not just be looking at what we can gain at the moment.”
Meanwhile, the PHRC has engaged the contractor and the community and efforts were on to agree on key community projects to be carried out as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the communities.
The company said it would build five infrastructural projects in Eleme and Okrika communities, and offer the youth scholarships for higher degrees while special certification training on oil and gas would be offered to others to enable them to gain hands-on skills.
Responding, the Chairman of Okrika JCRC, Chief Tamuno Akalogbo, and his counterpart from the Eleme community, Chief Obari-Ekee Whyte, commended the management for the peace initiatives and assured them of their unalloyed support for the exercise.