By Sunday Bassey
Ibeno – Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) Operator of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC/MPN Joint Venture, has distributed chairs, tables and tarpaulins to market women in the state.
Mr Roland Ewubare, Group General Manager of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), distributed these items to the beneficiaries in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom on Thursday.
Ewubare, represented by Mrs Henrietta Obioma-Igwe, Deputy Manager, Public Affairs Department NAPIMS, said the gesture was targeted to positively engage the youths, re-orientate and inculcate virtues in them.
He explained that a total of 500 tables, 500 chairs and 500 tarpaulins were presented to the four local government areas of Eket, Esit Eket, Ibeno and Onna.
“I am pleased to be here for the presentation of market tables, chairs and shades which is part of the upgrade/beautification of market stalls programme.
“Under the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture sponsored Community Investment Programme (CIP),’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ExxonMobil also presented five waste bins each to the four core oil communities for Clean and Green Environment Project.
Ewubare said the programme was meant to deliver sustainable value to all stakeholders in the areas of peaceful co-existence, environmental and safety practices.
“Our corporate social responsibility and citizenship place high premium on empowerment and capacity building initiatives such as Community Investment Programme, ’’ he said.
Ewubare said Community Investment Programme would also sustain peace that facilitates a conducive environment for Joint Venture operations and even more investments within the community and state.
He commended the state government and the “valued community stakeholders for providing the joint venture with a conducive environment for its operations’’.
Earlier, the Facilitator of the programme, Mr Joseph Utin, explained the rationale behind floating of market beautification/provision of market tables, chairs and tarpaulins for traders.
Utin said that the items would support the trade of beneficiaries and empower them to keep their trade going.
“It is not safe and healthy to have our women spread their market wares on the bare ground in our local markets.
“It is not safe and healthy to have that old woman selling garri in the market stand on her feet all day long,’’ he said.
Utin said that the implementation of Community Investment Programme, sponsored by MPN/NNPC JV, was entirely driven by the good people of Ibeno, Eket, Esit Eket and Onna.
He noted that the presentation of the market items sought to address some of these basic problems faced by the local entrepreneurs.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Josephine Ekpenyong, thanked ExxonMobil for the gesture and promised to use the market items judiciously.
She noted that such programme would foster peaceful co-existence between the company, stakeholders and youths of the communities.
He urged the company to make the Community Investment Programme an annual event so as to carry more youths and women in the communities along.