By Olusegun Adeniyi
The chairman of Oriental Energy Resources, Alhaji Muhammadu Indimi, has denied media reports that he donated US$14 million to Lynn University in the United States. Rather, the amount he donated, according to him, was $900,000.
In a statement sent to THISDAY editorial Board Chairman, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi, to protest the piece, “The Prodigal Billionaire”, published in his column of 25th May, 2016, an official of Oriental stated that neither Indimi nor the company donated the figure being credited to him and for which he was being vilified.
The company also listed Universities of Uyo, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Nsukka among institutions of higher learning in Nigeria to which Indimi and his company had extended considerable financial support running into billions of Naira in recent years.
Below is the full text of the statement from Oriental, endorsed by its chairman, Indimi:
“Following recent online, and media coverage of a donation made by our Chairman, Dr Alhaji Muhammadu Indimi, we find it necessary to provide clarity on the nature of the relationship with Lynn University, and Oriental’s operations in and commitment to the Niger Delta.
“Contrary to reports circulating, neither Oriental, nor our Chairman, donated US$14 million to Lynn University. This figure is unsubstantiated, inaccurate and misleading. The figure jointly donated by Oriental and former partner, Afren Plc, to Lynn University, a University from which Dr. Indimi and nine of his children have received nine Bachelors, five Masters, and one Doctorate degree, is $900,000.
“Oriental Energy is a proud indigenous oil company with a steadfast commitment to investing positively and purposefully in the communities where we have operations and beyond. Oriental is particularly committed to fostering and supporting the development of education and indigenous technical skills, as a fundamental pillar for long term sustainable development. We understand that without adequate investment in the education of the youth, there will be no sustainable economic growth.
“This is why the organisation has, over a four-year period, contributed billions of Naira to the communities where we operate in Nigeria. These donations include scholarships to beneficiaries from the Universities of Uyo, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Nsukka, amongst others, the development of University Of Port Harcourt’s digital library, the re-habilitation of the University of Uyo’s Petroleum Institute, infrastructure development in our host communities” as well as donations towards support for Internally Displaced People in the North East of Nigeria, and victims of terrorism.
“Oriental Energy Resources will continue to protect its reputation and reiterate its commitment to the Nigerian community particularly in instances like this where journalistic due diligence would have disproved the unsubstantiated rumors.”