By Kiana Wilburg
“Money invested in the economy” is what qualifies as local content for USA oil giant, ExxonMobil.
This was explained, yesterday, by the company’s head of Public and Government Relations, Kimberly Brasington.
Her comments come in wake of harsh criticisms of a list of nearly 227 names of individuals and local companies ExxonMobil submitted to the government for the first quarter of 2018.
The list was part of the company’s local content reporting requirements.
Local critics and Regional experts noted that ExxonMobil’s list of companies which includes media houses, eateries, taxi services, and supplies stores does not constitute local content.
This is especially when one takes into consideration, the globally accepted definition of local content.
Brasington was told that international local content experts define local content as the meaningful investment into the development of local skills, manpower and services.
To this, the ExxonMobil official said, “I have to say that I agree with those experts and critics because local content is many things and to ExxonMobil, local content means three main things, one of which is reflected in this list.
“The way we define local content is…investing in your local economy. So it is using local businesses and services to support your industry… you are investing and putting money into the economy and that is what that list represents…”
She noted however, that the list does not represent the company’s full local content plans.
Ms. Brasington said that a different approach is taken to capacity building and community development. She said that these additional areas also encompass ExxonMobil’s definition of local content.
The official clarified, however, that the list of 227 companies represents the “infusion of money into the economy.”
While the government has released the list of companies used by ExxonMobil for the first quarter of 2018, calls still remain for the administration to publish the list of 309 companies ExxonMobil said it used last year to support its operations.
Brasington also sought to justify the list of companies being padded with the names of persons.
She said, “The reason that individuals are listed is because individuals are doing business with ExxonMobil. So they have in many cases, a contract as an individual or the name of their company is their name.”
The ExxonMobil official said that in many of those cases, the individuals are landlords where they are renting a property to ExxonMobil employees, or to its contractors’ employees at the shore base.
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