By Esada Uyono,
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc., operators of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC)/SEPLAT joint venture has concluded the 8th edition of its annual ‘Eye Can See’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR )programme on Friday, April 12, 2019.
The programme, which started on the 19th of March 2019 rounded off at the Oba of Benin’s palace and witnessed a large turnout of people from far and wide who came to get operated upon to remove visual impairing cataracts, have their eyes checked and obtain prescription glasses.
Deploying over 15 centers across Delta and Edo State in the past one month, 350 surgeries were performed, 4000 eye glasses were dispensed and over 9,500 Nigerians were screened for eye ailments.
Edo Chiefs led by Chief S. O. Obamwonyi, the Esere of Benin Kingdom, who represented the Oba of Benin, key government officials, health sector personnel, NPDC representatives and other dignitaries were part of the guests who joined Seplat to mark the end of the programme this year.
In his remarks Mr. Effiong Okon, Seplat Operations Director, highlighted that ensuring sustainability of the communities where Seplat operates remains top in the agenda of the company particularly the health and well-being of their people.
He reinterated the company’s commitment to partnering with their host communities with the view to touching lives. “The Eye Can See programme has been on since 2012, and every year, the company brings a dedicated team of medics to ensure it makes the right and needed impacts.”
Chief Obamwonyi also lauded Seplat for their support over the years, pledging his kingdom’s support to the Company and its activities.
He admitted and commended the Company’s resolve to continue to invest in its areas of operation, adding that the move had helped to increase the area fortunes.
Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, Seplat General Manager, External Affairs and Communications, also commenting, retorted that the Eye Can See programme is in addition to other yearly social programmes deployed by the Company in her area of operation. She emphasised the company will continue to support and deploy such sustainable initiatives.
Beneficiaries of the programme who received free eye screening and treatment with many whose sights were restored following surgery, commended Seplat for bringing hope to their lives and giving them the opportunity to maximise their potential.
As at 2018, over 65,000 patients have benefitted from the programme, which started in 2012 and which has since dispensed 26,855 reading glasses and successfully performed 2,729 eye surgeries.
Dr. Nwachuku added: “This programme, which offers free premium optical care is open to anyone that comes to any designated venue whenever it is being deployed. The company is by this programme restoring hope to those with visual impairment. Having their eye problems cured gives them the capability to generate income for themselves and their families.”