By Michael Eboh
Oriental Energy Resources Limited, an indigenous oil exploration and production company in Nigeria, Friday, said it has donated a youth empowerment centre to the Mbo Empowerment Foundation.
In a statement in Abuja, signed by its Corporate Communications Manager, Sam Umukoro, the company described the centre as a sustainable enterprise and viable income generator for the youths in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The company said the project was a demonstration of Oriental Energy’s commitment to sustainable enterprise development, capacity building and employment opportunities for the youths in its host communities, adding that the idea was the outcome of a joint Needs Assessment by Mbo Community Relations Committee and Oriental Energy.
It also explained that facilities at the centre included cybercafe, flex room, graphics room, press room, separation room, desktop computers, industrial paper cutter, two generators, an inverter power system, together with various machines for printing, scanning, laminating, monograming, lithography and colour separation, among others.
The company added that the fifteen members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and management staff, trained on sustainable business development and management by Oriental Energy, were expected to ensure the financial viability and business continuity of the centre.
Commenting on the development, Managing Director of Oriental Energy Resources, Ignatius Ifelayo, said: “We found that there was no high-quality printing and reprographics facility within the five Local Government Councils that make up Oro nation. People and business owners had been travelling to the state capital, Uyo, for printing and reprographics.
“This centre has the significant potential to ease difficulties, reduce travel time, and generate substantial income. It would also offer high-quality printing services at a reasonable cost.
“I am very pleased to announce that with these contributions, Oriental Energy is also donating a start-up grant of five million naira to the Mbo Empowerment Foundation.”
Present at the event, according to the company, were Paramount Ruler of Mbo Local Government Area, His Royal Majesty Ogwong Okon A. Abang (V); members of Mbo Traditional Rulers Council; Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Environment and Petroleum Resources, Mr. Charles Udoh; and the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Labour and Manpower Planning, Pastor Ekanem Ibuot, who was represented by a director in the Ministry, Mr. Sunday Umana.
In his goodwill message, the Paramount Ruler of Mbo, His Royal Majesty, Obong Asukwo Abang, said “Oriental Energy has added great value to our communities through employment and ventures like this. We commend them and will continue to support their undertakings here.”
Also, the Executive Chairman of Mbo, Hon. Asukwo Eyo, represented at the event by the Vice Chairman, Hon. Mary Ating, said the project was very timely and well thought out by Oriental Energy.
On his part, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Mr. Charles Udoh, lauded Oriental Energy for the venture and said it was in line with Governor Udom Emmanuel’s blueprint for employment and revenue generation for the State.
The Commissioner said the corporate social responsibility pattern of Oriental Energy was worthy of imitation by other organizations in the state. This assertion was also supported by his colleague from the Ministry of Labour and Manpower Planning.
Highlights of the ceremony, according to the company, included the signing of handover over documents between the company and Mbo Empowerment Foundation; presentation of a cheque of five million naira start-up grant by Oriental Energy, and the commissioning of the facility by the Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Mr. Charles Udoh, flanked by other dignitaries.
The company added that the completion and handover of the Mbo Youth Empowerment Centre follows a recent donation of palliatives by Oriental Energy to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across its host communities in Mbo.
It noted that other social investment initiatives by the company included the completion of a Science Laboratory Complex at Community Grammar School in Ebughu, Mbo LGA.
Targeted for completion by the end of this year, the company said the lab would be furnished with WAEC-standard equipment for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
“Oriental Energy is also continuing its annual university scholarship awards and free medical outreach which have impacted more than 1,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 people respectively in Mbo,” the company said.