TOTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) has renewed it partnership agreement with some of its host communities, aimed at improving the livelihood of the people and ensuring peace.
The company in 2008 signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Andoni, Mgbuesilaru and Rebesi communities, all in Rivers State but however failed to implement the agreement.
The community leaders regretted that the inability of the company in executing the agreement has hampered development and affected the cordial relationship.
Speaking at the partnership renewal meeting recently in Port Harcourt, a representative of Mgbuesilariu community in Port Harcourt Local Council, Eze Ejike Wali described the collapse in the agreement as nonchalant attitude by TEPNG towards putting into action its part of agreement.
He warned that non-compliance of the agreement posed a threat to the existing peace between the company and the communities.
Consequently, Wali pointed out that youths, who were assured would be sent to school, employ by the company have now resorted to restiveness.
Wali, however, urged the company to ensure that it keeps up to its promises henceforth to enable drive home developments in the region.
The Deputy Managing Director of TEPNG, Denis Berthelot explained that the meeting availed both parties the opportunity to discuss healthier ways to realise the partnership agreement.
“As we gather to commence discussions, which we hope should lead to a new partnership agreement, it is our desire that all stakeholders should show good spirit and upheld our partnership,” Berthelot said.
Continuing, he said, “in order to arrive at our goal of establishing a new partnership agreement, there will be need to observe all the rules we shall set for ourselves during all the discussions sessions, keeping in mind that we are partners in progress.”
“We shall first agree on procedural aspects and then the substantive items. The target will be to work closely together to reach mutually beneficial conclusions that would enable TEPNG participate further in the development of the various communities.”
While noting that previous agreements by the company touched lives in the host communities through various projects and programmes, the deputy manager prayed that the current agreement would yield similar result and also be sustained.