The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has initiated talks with oil majors operating in the country on ways to entrench Nigeria’s national core values in the citizenry as enshrined in Chapter, Section 23 of the 1999 Constitution.
Speaking at a Brainstorming Roundtable Session to Develop Strategies for Deepening Understanding of Nigeria’s Core Values among the Citizenry, NOA Director General, Garba Abari described the nation’s core values as a critical part of our national experience. He however expressed dismay that even the Nigerian elite are unaware of the existence of the national core values in the constitution, lamenting the attendant negative impact of values erosion on the Nigerian society.
He said partnering with oil majors, including Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), among others to deepen national core values became necessary in recognition of how deeply entrenched their respective organizational values are among their staff worldwide. He noted that staff of major oil companies always adhere to the prescribed values and behaviours of their respective employers; hence the nation needed to learn the strategies they employ in this regard and apply same to the citizenry, adding that while NOA had the official responsibility to deepen values in society, oil majors had a social responsibility to assist in that regard for a better Nigeria.
Representing their various companies, Josephine Ikem-Akwali (NLNG), Matthew Akpomie (NAOC) and Ozemoya Okordion (ExxonMobil) submitted that, among other things, Nigerians needed to develop team spirit as well as a sense of ownership of the nation just as oil company staff have of their employers.
In their various presentations, the participating oil companies observed that NOA has been passing the right messages to Nigerians but that systemic contradictions within the national space were interfering with the messages and preventing them from having the desired impact. They therefore called for a holistic approach to redefining and entrenching national values such that everyone can be held accountable for their actions and inactions from the top to the bottom as well as laterally.