Former President, Goodluck Jonathan and Founder/ President of Belema oil Producing Limited, Mr. Tein Jack-Rich, have called on oil operators in the Niger Delta region to impact on local communities by bringing succour to their lives.
They made the call weekend at Idama community in Akuku-Toru council area of Rivers State during the commissioning of a high-capacity potable water facility and 1,250KVA power generator donated by Belemaoil Producing Limited under its NNPC/Belemaoil joint venture project.
They stated that if operators worked effectively and in a transparent manner with local communities, the result will be communities and companies benefiting mutually in a peaceful atmosphere. Also job opportunities would be created and there would be sustainable growth in the economy through the creation of jobs and an assured future for the teeming youthful population.
Idama community had no access to potable water for decades before the Belema Oil gesture.
Ambassador Godknows Igali, who represented Dr. Jonathan said: “This project is a great model for all other companies in communities to emulate and impact on local communities to bring succour to their lives.”
While commending Belema Oil for its impressive contribution, the former President commended Idama community for creating the right environment for intervention projects.
Jack-Rich said that despite coming from a very poor background, he did not allow such to discourage him from building a great future that would impact lives.
He said: “I come from a community (Kula) that looks like Idama; we suffered a lot of mental degradation, fighting for environmental justice, fighting the economic denial, social relegation and self-dignity, a lot that created social vices.
“I solved my problem by thinking outside the box. What you feed your mind with, is what your mind will produce to design your path to success or failure.
“Everything you see here: the tanks, water depth, I designed them, the machinery, human resources, and I said to NNPC that we cannot continue to let this community suffer.”
He thanked the management of NNPC for supporting the vision, adding: “If other operators can support local communities, business ventures and the communities will always be at peace because when a mind is not engaged, it will engage itself.”
He urged the youths to explore the great potential in them to make a difference.
The traditional ruler of Idama community, King Kariboye Karibo, said the provision of water and electricity represents life to the people and expressed hope that more projects would be birthed to improve the lives of the people.
The President of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba, and the President, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Peter Igbifa, commended Belemaoil’s gesture, adding that it was time to change the Niger Delta narrative through intellectual battles and not through arms.