Abuja, 23 November 2019 - Nigerian Agip Oil Company has been awarded the 2019 Community Engagement Award as the Best Company in Community Engagement. This in recognition of its contributions to the development of its host communities.
The award was presented to the company at the 8th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference, organized by CSR-in-Action, Nigeria’s foremost sustainability outfit, in partnership with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR), the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steels Development (FMMSD), and the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). The event was held in Lagos on Friday, the 22nd of November, 2019.
The award, named after Late Chief MKO Abiola, is in the community engagement category, one of seven categories covered by the Community Engagement and Human Rights (CAHR) Awards. The CAHR Awards, co-founded by CSR-in-Action and the Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF), recognizes individuals and corporate entities that have displayed exemplary service in the stated categories, which include the Environmental Management, Human Rights, Community Impact and Community Engagement categories.
The organizers explained that this year’s conference, themed “Community Engagement: A Panacea for Peace in Extractive Operations”, set the stage for launching the CAHR Awards. The objective of the Awards is to create a platform for appreciating best performers, those who are taking exemplary steps to avoid or correct the anomalies typically present in communities playing host to extractive operations. Awardees were selected following an online voting system and a rigorous screening exercise, leading to NAOC’s emergence as the maiden winner of the Community Engagement Award.
The conference, which attracted critical stakeholders in the extractive industries and Niger-Delta communities, was also an avenue to encourage and support impactful dialogue promoting inclusion in the sector. In this wise, it featured three panel discussions on ‘Promoting Peace and Development through Community Inclusion’, ‘Mainstreaming the Conversations on Community Realities’ and ‘Leading the way by Building Global Communities’. The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) also unveiled a policy book on ‘Guidelines for Community Engagement’, informing the conference that they would soon be made available to all Oil and Gas Operators. At presentation, the community engagement award was received by Abiola Soremekun, NAOC Assistant Manager, Partner’s Liaison, who later presented the award to the Managing Director, Lorenzo Fiorillo, in the company of the General Manager, Public Affairs, Barry Nwibani.
The Managing Director observed that the cardinal values guiding the CSR outlook at NAOC, and in deed all ENI companies, are linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include ensuring access to reliable, affordable and clean energy, stimulating sustained, inclusive and diversified economic growth, ensuring access to health and education, and restoring and promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems in host communities. NAOC, by this award, is therefore encouraged to continue in its commitment to these values, particularly, to the UN SDG Goal 17 of partnering effectively with its host communities to ensure grassroots ownership of its presence and projects within them.