The people of Nembe in the Nembe local government area of Bayelsa State have rebuffed the presents of a goat and 10 bags of rice offered to them by the management of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NOAC). Agip had made the donation as a Christmas gift.
But the community’s oil and gas committee headed by Nengi James spurned the offer on behalf of the elders and other members of Nembe.
Several members of the community said they were angry that the oil firm would offer such paltry donations to the people of Nembe whose traditional ruler, Edmund Dakoru, once served as Nigeria’s Minister of Power.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the chairman of the Nembe oil and gas committee, Mr. Nengi James, described the gift as “a corporate embarrassment to the traditional institution and the good people of Nembe Kingdom.”
Mr. James recalled a meeting with the oil firm’s General Manager when he visited King Edmund Dakoru alongside his management team where issues of corporate social responsibilities were addressed.
He noted that for Agip to give ten bags of rice and one goat to a community of about five hundred thousand people was a clear demonstration of the crass insensitivity of the multinational company to the community which is a major hub of Agip's operations.
Mr. James stressed that the people of Nembe were a contented people who would never be cowed by any Greek gift. According to him, Nembe Kingdom was in dire need of development and employment for the teeming unemployed youths alongside environmental protection.
He warned that, if the issues were not properly handled, they could affect the harmonious relationship and peaceful coexistence between the company and the community.