Francis Sadhere

SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Limited, operators of the SEPLAT/NPDC Joint Venture has provided free eye care services to over 2,000 blind and virtually impaired members across 42 communities in Edo and Delta States.

The 2014 edition of the Eye Can See Programme which was held at Okpe Hall, Sapele, was the third edition of SEPLAT’s popular Corporate Social Responsibility programme aimed at bringing free qualitative and comprehensive eye care services to members of its host communities.

(L-R) Dr. (Mrs.) Minnie I. Oseji, Director, Primary Health Care/Diseases Control, Delta State Ministry of Health, Bryte Oghor, GM, Health, Safety, Security & Environment & Community Relations, Seplat, Dr, Chioma Nwachuku, GM, Corporate Affairs & Business Development, Seplat, Engr. Ike Oduah, Permanent Secretary, Delta State Ministry of Oil & Gas, Represented the Delta State Commissioner for Oil & Gas, Mr. Mofe Pirah and a Representative of the Oba of Benin, at the 2014 Eye Can See Programme of Seplat.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Austin Avuru, Managing Director/CEO, SEPLAT, who was represented by the Deputy Base Manager, Mr. Lucky Obiuwevbi, said he was impressed with the turn-out by its host communities, adding that the turn out showed that the people appreciate what SEPLAT was doing for them.

He promised its host communities that as long as they continue to maintain a peaceful environment, which the company needed to operate, SEPLAT was going to do more for them.

He reminded the people that SEPLAT had promised them three years ago, that if they continue to maintain a conducive environment for them to work in, they will continue the Eye Can See programme and even do more for them.

He urged the people to continue to spread the word to their neighbours and tell them about what SEPLAT was doing for them so that more people could be reached.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Mofe Pirah, who was represented by Engineer Ike Oduah, Permanent Secretary, Delta Ministry of Oil and Gas, commended the community for creating a peaceful environment for SEPLAT to work in.

Mr. Pirah also lauded SEPLAT for providing the eye care services to the people, adding that Sapele was privileged to have a company like SEPLAT who have the interest of the health of the people at heart.

He appealed to the people to keep the peace so that they can attract more development to their communities, noting peace was the only thing that could guarantee development in any society.

Speaking to journalists at the programme , the GM, Corporate Affairs & Business Development, Seplat, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, said the programme was very unique in the sense that most people who had lost their sight before have had their sight restored, adding that the joy of seeing people benefit from the programme was what encouraged Seplat to continue the programme each year.

According to a statement released by the SEPLAT and made available to journalists; “SEPLAT will continue to prosecute far reaching community engagement initiatives such as Eye Can See in our host and impact communities because we believe in enhancing and improving the quality of life of the average Nigerian, especially those in our communities.”

The statement also stated; “A blind man is a burden and we are committed to relieving members of our host community of that burden with such a laudable initiative as this, which empower them by impacting positively on their health and well being.”

According to the statement, the three weeks programme will be supported by seasoned opticians/ophthalmologists and consultants who will treat and perform surgical operations on those requiring it, adding that there will be a follow up to check on patients that had surgery two weeks after the end of the programme.