In actuality, companies do not have any choice but to deliver tangible and sustainable benefits to their access, host and impacted communities. Extractive companies especially, face rising expectations to do more than simply mitigate negative impacts, they are expected to be sources of economic opportunity and to be reliable and trustworthy partners and neighbours. Extractive companies are expected to deliver lasting social and economic benefits to the areas where they have their footprints.
The tool for delivering these tangible and sustainable benefits to communities is the Community Engagement Standards (CES). Sections and provisions of the CES may be translated into a Community Development Agreement (CDA). Over the years, companies have engaged communities and sundry stakeholders, unfortunately with less than inspiring results. This CES is aimed at filling some of the identified gaps in earlier ones.
CSR-in-Action developed the first Community Engagement Standards to ensure smooth and effective interactions between Oil and Gas companies and their host communities. CSR-in-Action was engaged to carry out interventions that would lead to a reduction in oil loss from refinery operations and oil theft.
This research was made possible with the support of Facility for Oil Sector Transformation (FOSTER 2) in Nigeria; an organisation working to promote transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and supporting the cause for extensive reforms that will address the complex challenges stalling the development of Nigeria’s extractive sector as a whole.
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The FMPR approved CES is a tool developed by CSR-in-Action for systematic and operational community engagement. The CES was developed through multi-stakeholder engagement across the nine oil-producing states and was presented to government ministries and agencies with a view to adopting the Standards and implementing it through the ministries and agencies.
Cecilia Umoren, MD/CEO Millennium Oil & Gas Ltd Endorses the Community Engagement Standards.