Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) Unlimited, an ExxonMobil affiliate company in Nigeria during the meeting with Akwa Ibom State journalists at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Week called for increased media support.
In his address to the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Oge Udeagha, manager, Media and Communication, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited described the Akwa Ibom State press as a partner, and sought greater alignment in the face of the daunting challenges and unfavorable operating conditions in the oil and gas industry, especially in Nigeria.
Udeagha called the Union's attention to the state of business in which ExxonMobil affiliates and other companies in the industry currently operate. "When compared to 2015, the company's profitability margin dropped by about 70% in 2016, due to the fall in oil prices, the fall in production volume and the resultant global cut downs in investment in the sector", Our Joint Venture (JV) partner not defraying and community unrest has further strained the company's business."
He explained that these challenges have led to the scaling down of business operations and deferment of projects across several companies in the sector. "Nevertheless, the company has remained resolute in its commitment to supporting the development of communities in Akwa Ibom State, and across other states in Nigeria," Udeagha said.
According to Udeagha, "ExxonMobil affiliates in Nigeria remain the largest private sector employer of labour in Akwa Ibom, with indigenes of the state making up 35 percent of the company's national workforce; the Akwa Ibom State government also benefits greatly from the 13 percent derivation earnings from the operations of the company; the company, in the last ten years, has invested over N100 billion in direct community assistance projects, including its N8 billion counter-part funding to the Akwa Ibom State government for the construction of Eket-Ibeno road and the N6 billion investments in the on-going Special Community Assistance Projects in eight Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State.”
In addition, "the Company remits taxes, dues, levies, tenements and contributions to at least ten different government and state institutions, including over N180 billion paid to the NDDC since its inception in 2001, N7 billion annual remittance as Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax, an average of N230 million annual ground rent to the State Government and N50 million to Ibeno and Eket Local Government Areas," he added.
Udeagha commended the sustained support of the Akwa Ibom State government, local communities, media and other stakeholders that are key to its operations in the state. "It is very important that we work together in the face of present industry challenges," he said
In his remarks, Onofiok Luke, the speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, called for sustained support of all stakeholders of ExxonMobil affiliates in the state. "What hurts ExxonMobil hurts us all," he said. "We must support the company by providing it with a conducive working environment in the interest of peace, progress and development."
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