APPLICATION OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS STRATEGIES IN ADDRESSING HOST COMMUNITY HOSTILITY
This study entitled: “Applications of Community Relations Strategies in Addressing Host Community Hostility: A Study of Rido Village, Kaduna, Host Community of Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited” is carried out to specifically find out the causes of community hostility in the KRPC’s host communities, the measures taken by the host communities to press their demand, the Company’s current community relations strategies in addressing host community hostilities, the challenges affecting the current community relations programme at the Refinery and the new strategies that the organization can evolve for a more effective and proactive community relations practice in addressing community hostility. To effectively carry out the study, survey research method was adopted to obtain data through the instruments of questionnaire and interview. A total of 300 questionnaires were administered to 30% of Rido Village inhabitants while a total of four (4) key Staff of the KRPC were interviewed. Findings of the study shows that lack of provision of employment opportunities, social amenities and infrastructures are the main causes of community hostilities. It also shows that protest and dialogue are the main channels used by the KRPC host communities to press their demands. The findings also show that the current community relations strategies used by the KRPC in addressing host community hostility include the provision of portable water, electricity, job training, schools, roads as well as support for community social engagements. The Company also responds to oil pollution in a timely and effective manner as well as provide compensation both in cash and kind to effected victims. The outcome of the study also shows that the major challenges affecting the current community relations programmes of the KRPC include poor funding and lack of employment opportunities. Finally, the study shows that the KRPC management has identified Sustainable Community Development (SCD) as a key strategic plan for a more effective and proactive community relations programme. Arising from the findings and conclusions above, it is recommended that organisations desirous of establishing peaceful and harmonious relationship with their host communities should develop a more pragmatic approach towards community development by ensuring a sustainable community development (SCD) and sustainable social development (SSD) projects. They should also adopt and maintain a more effective channel of communication between their organisations and their host communities.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page – – – – – – – – – – i
Declaration – – – – – – – – – – ii
Certification – – – – – – – – – – iii
Approval – – – – – – – – – – iv
Dedication – – – – – – – – – – v
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – – – vi
Abstract – – – – – – – – – – vii
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – – viii
1.0 Background to the Study – – – – – – – 1
1.1 Statement of the Problem – – – – – – – 8
1.2 Aims and Objectives of the Study – – – – – – 10
1.3 Research Questions – – – – – – – – 10
1.4 Significance of the Study – – – – – – – 11
1.5 Scope of the Study – – – – – – – – 11
1.6 Limitation of the Study – – – – – – – 11
1.7 Brief Background of KRPC – – – – – – – 12
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms – – – – – – 13
2.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 14
2.1 Community Relations – – – – – – – – 14
2.2 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Defined – – – – 37
2.2.1 Shell’s Contribution to Sustainable Community Development in the Nigeria Delta 50
2.3 Theoretical Framework – – – – – – – 59
2.4 Application of Relevant Theory to this Study – – – – 75
3.1 Methodology – – – – – – – – – 77
3.2 Research Method – – – – – – – – 78
3.3 Instrumentation and Data Collection – – – – – – 78
3.4 Population and Sample – – – – – – – 80
3.5 Elimination of Bias – – – – – – – – 81
3.6 Data Analysis – – – – – – – – – 81
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 82
4.1 Socio-Demographic Information of Respondents – – – – 83
4.2 Causes of Host Community Hostility – – – – – – 85
4.3 Interview with the Management and Staff of KRPC – – – 99
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 106
5.1 Summary – – – – – – – – – 106
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – – – 108
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – – 109
Bibliography – – – – – – – – – 111
Appendix I – – – – – – – – 113
Appendix II – – – – – – – – – 117
Appendix III – – – – – – – – – 119
1.0 Background to the Study
The Nigerian oil and gas industry dates back to 1958 when oil was first discovered by Shell D’Arcy at Oloibiri field in the Eastern Niger Delta Basin in the present day Bayelsa State. However, oil prospecting activities go back to 50 years prior to that following exploration operation of a German Company, the Nigerian Bitumen Corporation (NBC), in the Araromi area of the present day Ondo State. The operation, based on the Mineral Survey of Southern Nigeria, resulted in the drilling of 16 shallow boreholes (4.9 metres) on a line of oil seepage now known as the Tarsand Belt, (NNPC Corporate Profile, 2010).
The report had indicated the occurrence of tarry sand (oil sands) in parts of Okitipupa structure (Eastern Dahomey) Benin Basin. This encouraged NBC to drill 15 wells along the onshore area of the basin between 1908 and 1914 following the striking of crystalline basement at relatively shallow depths, which established the presence of several horizons of oil sands, setting the stage for subsequent oil exploration operation in Nigeria.
Shell Oversees Exploration Company, in collaboration with Shell D’Arcy Exploration Company, continued exploration activities between the two World war periods, with geological and reconnaissance and geographical surveys in selected areas across the country in 1937. In 1938, Shell D’Arcy was granted oil exploration license (OEL) by the Colonial administration to carry out exploration activities throughout the country. Between 1951 and 1959, the company, in partnership with Shell BP, had drilled six wells in the Benin Basins.
The first deep test in 1951 (Iho-1 NW) of Owerri into Cretaceous sands on the Northern fringes of the Niger Delta Basin was not successful. By 1955, some 15 dry holes were drilled into Cretaceous prospects with no real oil finds.
However, encouraged by the first oil show in the tertiary Niger Delta Basin (Akata-1 well) drilled in 1953, Shell intensified its search in the basin, and in 1956 made the breakthrough that has come to represent its pioneering success story in oil exploration in Nigeria. The significant find in Oloibiri focused the search on the Niger Delta Basin, setting the trend in oil exploration in the country. Nigeria’s first oil shipment of 5,000 barrels to the international market was in 1958.
In 1959, Shell BP relinquished portions of its onshore license, allowing a number of other oil majors to be granted similar licenses to undertake oil exploration in Nigeria. The Benin Basin was further explored in the 1960 and 1970s due to the surface evidence presented by the oil sands and heavy oil.
Those granted the initial license in 1961 to explore for oil in Nigeria included Shell BP, Gulf Oil, Mobil and Texaco. The first offshore production began in 1965 with the discovery of oil in Okan field by Gulf Oil Company, which confirmed Niger Delta Basin as having significant prospects as a world-class hydrocarbon province. Since then, more than 500 oil and gas fields have been discovered, with more than half currently producing at onshore locations.
Nigeria joined the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1971, and in 1977 established the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), a state owned and controlled company, which is a major player in both the upstream and downstream sectors. By the late seventies, Nigeria had attained a production level of over 2 million barrels of crude oil a day. Although production figures dropped in the eighties due to economic slump, 2004 saw a total rejuvenation of oil production to a record level of 2.5 million barrels per day. Current development strategies are aimed at increasing production to 4 million barrels per day in the near future. The dominant role of petroleum production and export in Nigeria’s economy has had a very profound impact on National Economic Development through the decades. (NNPC Corporate Profile, 2010)
In view of this development in the oil and gas sector, a virile and pro-active Public Relations practice is a necessity for industry players to achieve positive image and reputation for smooth operations and meaningful growth. For this reason, since the establishment of Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) Limited, a Subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 1977, a professional Public Relations Department was created to assist the company’s management in building and sustaining a positive image and supporting the promotion of its business objectives both nationally and internationally.
It is noteworthy to say that over the years, public relations practice has come to be accepted as a profession that needs to be given serious attention. To this end, it is pertinent to mention that one of the most welcome developments in the 20th century is the recognition of public relations as a management function that is essential for the success and survival of organisations. This follows the realisation by the management of organisations about the importance of mutual understanding between them and their relevant publics.
Black (1971:8) says: “The corporate image of an organization depends on the company’s behavior and financial performance, its marketing and policies, the quality of its products, standard of its personal relation and its design management”.
The oil and gas industry has realised the need for public relation activities in order to create and maintain good public image that will provide a conducive and peaceful work environment.
Public Relation is a discipline that attracted various definitions. The major convergence point of all the definitions is that public relations involves creating mutual understanding between organisations and their publics.
The British institute of public relations (IPR) cited in Jethwaney and Sarkar (2009) define Public Relations as “the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between the organization and its various publics”.
At its convention in Mexico City, the International Public Relations Association (1978) sees public Relations as: ”the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organization leaders, and implementing planned programmes of action which will serve both the organization’s and the public interest”.
Deutsches Public Relations Gassell Scharft of the Federal Republic of Germany sees Public Relations “as the conscious and legitimate effort to achieve understanding and the establishment and maintenance of trust among the public on the basis of systematic research”.
Dansk Public Relations Club of Denmark: “Public Relations is the sustained and systematic managerial effort through which private and public organisation seek to establish understanding, sympathy and support in those public circles with whom they have or expect to obtain contact”.
Neil Richardson & Lucy Laville (2012): “In its simplest form, Public Relations is about developing and managing relations with stakeholders.”
Grunig and Hunt, cited in Stacks (2002): “Public Relations is the management of communication between an organisation and its publics.”
L’Etang and Pieczka (2006), while quoting Warren Seymour say “Public relations is, simply put, good performance publicly appreciated…It is the two-way process of presenting an organisation in its true colours to the public; and representing to that organisation the public’s opinion about it as a factor to be considered in the framing of its policy.”
The International Public Relations Association, IPRA (1978) or Mexico Statement: “Public relations is the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders and implementing planned programmes of action which serves both the organisation and the public interest.”
Frank Jefkins (1988): “Public Relations consists of all forms of planned communication, outwards and inwards between an organisation and its publics for the purpose of achieving specific objectives concerning mutual understanding.”
Lattimore, Baskin, Heiman and Toth (2012) define public relations as “a leadership and management function that helps achieve organizational objectives, define philosophy and facilitate organizational change”.
Along this line, they identify the following roles of Public Relations Practitioners:
- Government affairs
- Investor relations
- Development or fund raising
- Multi cultural affairs
- Issues management
- Media relations
- Public affairs
- Community relations
- Employee relations
- Marketing communication
In practice, public relations communication must be a two-way form because misunderstanding can spring from lack of misinformation. As such, one of the aims and objectives of using effective public relations strategies is to improve the existing channel of communication. In other words any organization that fails to communicate well with its public cannot retain their trust and confidence.
This contention was shared by Wechen in Offonry (1985) where he stated: Real communication with all interested Parties is essential, if business is to live securely in an increasingly demanding world.
We then say that it is public relations that provide all the specialized techniques, tools, training and know-how required for the maintenance of such communications in an effective manner.
Host communities are one of the most important parts of organisation’s publics. For every organization to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere for its operations, there is the need for positive mutual relationship. This brings to the fore, the need for effective community relations.
According to Center, Jackson, Smith and Stansberry (2008): “Community relations, as a public relations function, is an institution’s planned, active and continuing participation within a community to maintain and enhance its environment to the benefit of both the institution and the community”
This implies that whatever programme of action an organization will take will serve both their interest and that of their immediate organization.