TOTAL Partners with Federal Government to Fight Malaria Scourge
ABUJA: As part of efforts to eradicate the scourge of malaria in Nigeria Total Upstream has pledged to partner with the Federal Government and specialist organizations in the malaria control programme.
The commitment came on Monday, April 22, 2013, as experts, partners, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders from all over the country gathered at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja for Total’s 2nd biennial Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) conference. The theme was: “Creating Value for our Stakeholders.”
“We shall be involved in the National Malaria Control program with the aim of seeking a comprehensive approach towards the eradication of this pandemic”, Guy Maurice, Managing Director/Chief Executive of Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, said as he expressed the company’s desire to support government’s bid to realize the Millennium Development Goals.
Total’s commitment to support the fight against malaria pandemic is a noble gesture when put in proper perspective. About 90 per cent of the country’s 167 million people is said to be at risk of malaria infection and the disease is said to have contributed to 30 per cent of childhood mortality and 11 per cent of maternal mortality. Also, malaria-related illnesses and mortality are estimated to cost Africa’s economy about $12 billion annually, according to a 2012 report by the National Malaria Control Programme.
“Nigeria today in the portfolio of CSR projects we have, is more than 50%, Africa is 75% and the other 25% is to the whole world”, Antonin Fotso, the Secretary General for Africa, Total Exploration and Production, explained. He lauded TOTAL Nigeria’s consciousness in the area of CSR and said it showed that the Total group was in the right direction in investing in CSR projects in Nigeria and other countries.
In her concluding remarks, the Executive Director, Human Resources & Corporate Affairs, Mrs Edith Ofili-Okonkwo noted that “The overall objective of today’s event has been to articulate in practical terms what we as a company could do in order to delight our numerous stakeholders.” She described the feedback at the end of the conference as “amazing and eye-opening” as well as a huge contribution to the task of nation building. Earlier, the Executive General Manager, Corporate Services, Mr Vincent Nnadi had noted that the ideas from the conference would be used to advance the company’s CSR policy.
The 2nd Biennial CSR conference featured workshop sessions and an enthralling panel discussion on the topic: “How IOCs can create value for all stakeholders”. Eminent political economist, professor, Pat Utomi and a former Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed presented incisive keynote addresses. Participants discussed ways to create value through:
• Local Content Development
• Capacity Building
• Local Economy Development and
• Arts, culture and national heritage
Among the Panel discussants were the Managing Director of Total Nigeria PLC, Mr Francois Boussagol, Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Chris Oboh,Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Professor Joseph Ajienka and the chairman of Starz Investments Company Ltd, Mr.Greg Ogbeifun.
It will be recalled that Total won the coveted 2013 NOG CSR prize in recognition of its best-in-class Corporate Social responsibility practices particularly in the crucial areas of capacity development and critical skills transfer, economic empowerment, environmental protection and improvements in health and social infrastructure in both the host community and the nation at large.