Host communities of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc in Edo and Delta States have urged the company to gradually put an end to gas flaring to reduce the health implications on residents around the installations and environs.
They also called on the Seplat to take urgent steps to employ their indigenes in the company to reduce the high rate of youth unemployment in their communities.
These demands, among others, were made on Friday when the management team of Seplat, led by its Chairman and Managing Director, Ambrose Orjiakor and Roger Brown respectively, visited Edo State Governor in Benin City, Godwin Obaseki; the Enogie of Oben in Oben, Edo State, Fredrick Ogiemwonyi; and the Orodje of Okpe in Orerokpe, Delta State, Felix Mujakperuo.
A spokesperson for Oben community, Friday Eboigbe, decried the health implication of gas flaring to the host community.
“Seplat’s oil field OML 4 is hosted by four communities in Oben in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. It is imperative to tackle the effect of gas flaring on the health of the host communities,” Eboigbe said.
He, however, acknowledged that the company has done a lot to ameliorate the sufferings of the people by providing some basic amenities.
He promised that the host communities would create an enabling environment for Seplat to flourish while calling on Seplat to engage indigenous contractors and help tackle the ravaging Fulani herdsmen who have turned Sakponba and Urhonigbe forests reserves to their den.
Also, Mujakperuo urged the management of Seplat to look into the matter of unemployment in the host community.
He said, “So many graduates in the community have become commercial motorcycle riders. I hope that the new CEO of Seplat will look into my request for the employment of my people. We are not happy when our people are not employed by companies in our area. I am not happy when I see higher institution graduates riding commercial motorcycles.
“We do not want graduates from other areas dominating jobs in my kingdom. Although in terms of development, Seplat has been doing a lot because they have helped to build schools and others, but in the area of employment I will give them five per cent,” he added.
Chairman of Seplat, Orjiakor, who commended the communities for their peaceful disposition, promised to see to all their requests. He promised that the communities would get befitting hospitals with doctors.