Ronald Roosdorp’s visit, a good omen, says Emir

Ronald Roosdorp’s visit, a good omen, says Emir
The Emir of Azara in Nasarawa State, Dr. Kabiru Musa Ibrahim on Tuesday took a hard look at the visit of the Voluntary Principles Initiative steering committee to Eggon Nasarawa, declaring it another benchmark in the history of Nigeria.
The monarch expressed satisfaction with the visit.
“We are extremely happy today. Your visit is a blessing. It is a good development that is capable of yielding a beneficial outcome” the Emir said when Ronald Roosdorp and other stakeholders of the Voluntary Principles Initiative visited his palace.
The VPI delegation earlier visited a mining site in Eggon Local Government of Nasarawa State.
The paramount ruler, who described Nasarawa State as peaceful and the people friendly, urged foreign investors to invest in the state, particularly the mining industry.
“The business environment is very good” he said.
In his remarks, Roosdorp said that the Voluntary Principles Initiative was designed by multi-stakeholders to give practical guidelines on ways to prevent violence in the extractive industry.
“The initiative is targeted at promoting human rights through prevention of violence in the extractive industry. Our objective is to partner with government on ways to prevent security risks in the extractive industry, encourage capacity training, creation of employment opportunities and attract foreign investments”.
He urged governments and companies to place premium on security dialogue and cooperation.
“It will help to create awareness on the need for engaging host communities and the extractive industry in dialogue” he said.
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Ronald Roosdorp’s visit, a good omen, says Emir
The Emir of Azara in Nasarawa State, Dr. Kabiru Musa Ibrahim on Tuesday took a hard look at the visit of the Voluntary Principles Initiative steering committee to Eggon Nasarawa, declaring it another benchmark in the history of Nigeria.
The monarch expressed satisfaction with the visit.
“We are extremely happy today. Your visit is a blessing. It is a good development that is capable of yielding a beneficial outcome” the Emir said when Ronald Roosdorp and other stakeholders of the Voluntary Principles Initiative visited his palace.
The VPI delegation earlier visited a mining site in Eggon Local Government of Nasarawa State.
The paramount ruler, who described Nasarawa State as peaceful and the people friendly, urged foreign investors to invest in the state, particularly the mining industry.
“The business environment is very good” he said.
In his remarks, Roosdorp said that the Voluntary Principles Initiative was designed by multi-stakeholders to give practical guidelines on ways to prevent violence in the extractive industry.
“The initiative is targeted at promoting human rights through prevention of violence in the extractive industry. Our objective is to partner with government on ways to prevent security risks in the extractive industry, encourage capacity training, creation of employment opportunities and attract foreign investments”.
He urged governments and companies to place premium on security dialogue and cooperation.
“It will help to create awareness on the need for engaging host communities and the extractive industry in dialogue” he said.
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VPI STEERING COMMITTEE, LITE, OIL COMPANIES RESTATE SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
The steering committee of the Voluntary Principles Initiative is determined to support the efforts of government, companies, non-governmental organizations and communities in the implementation of voluntary principles.
At a security forum in Eket, Akwa Ibom State and stakeholders round-table in Port Harcourt, the current chair of VPI, Mr. Ronald Roosdorp, Executive Director, Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE), Mr. Joel Bisina, representatives of oil companies, security experts and other stakeholders stressed on how the adoption and implementation of the VPI can benefit all stakeholders and Nigeria as a whole.
Specifically, they highlighted the role companies and civil society can play in supporting governments and multilateral institutions on security sector reform, development of institutional capacities and strengthening the rule of law.
Roosdorp called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to sign unto the Voluntary Principles on Security Human Rights,
“Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) are non-binding soft laws established in 2000 to offer guidance to extractive companies (oil, gas and mining companies) in maintaining the safety and security of the facilities and operations with respect for human rights” he said.
“Three elements of VPs are Risks Assessment; Interaction with Public Security; and Interaction with Private Security. The Risk Assessment component states that extractive companies should conduct risk assessment at the location/area they intend to carry out operations with a view to mitigating the risk factors. It further stated that companies on an ongoing basis should conduct risk assessment to ascertain security risks and likelihood of human rights abuses”.
In the Interaction with Public Security component, the VPs acknowledge that it is the duty of the government to provide security for the protection of lives of property, and ensure human rights are protected. The component explains that extractive companies have an interest to ensure that actions taken by security operatives are in line with the protection and promotion of human rights abuses and promote respect for human rights. The guidelines for this component are security arrangements which states that the extractive companies should consult the host government and communities about the impact of the security arrangements on the host communities; conduct and human rights policies, deployment and conduct; consultation and advice; and record of rights abuses”.
“In the third component which is interaction with private security, it is noted that since the host government cannot provide adequate security arrangement for the operations of the companies that it may be necessary for the companies to engage the services of private security providers to complement public security with a view that the private security personnel would adhere to the policies on ethical conduct and human rights of the companies.
The potential benefits of VPs according to Roosdorp are numerous.
“VPs promote the human rights by ensuring the security arrangement and actions of security personnel do not violate the human rights of the host communities; they encourage communities participation in security arrangement of companies operating in their environment; they contribute to bridging the gap in the relationship between members of the host community and security agents; VPs promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through regular consultation of the host communities; they encourage proactive measures through risk assessments; and promote accountability and transparency in security arrangement in the extractive industry”.
“To the stakeholders, through regular consultations, VPs promote peace-building and good relationship among stakeholders in the extractive industry; they provide a good model for addressing security and human rights issues in the extractive industry; they reduce friction and promote conflict prevention among stakeholders in the extractive industry by reducing the risk of human rights violations or abuses; and they enhance better governance of the extractive sector from the security and human rights perspective”.
“Voluntary Principles provide guidelines to security forces operations in the extractive and mining sector to respect human rights while protecting company’s personnel and assets. The initiative is a platform for mutual learning, joint problem solving, and building best practices. The principles are practical guideline to help extractive companies and business manage risk effectively. It is framework to build capacity of key players to address issues in complex environment. The principles guide companies in conducting a comprehensive human rights risk assessment in their engagement of security providers” Bisina, said.
Bisina highlighted the role of government, companies and community leaders in the promotion and protection of human rights.
“All parties to a conflict are obliged to observe applicable international humanitarian law. The principles share the common goal of promoting respect for human rights, safeguarding the integrity of company personnel and property, contributing to the welfare of the local community, mitigating any potential for conflict where possible and sharing of best security practices and procedures”.
He advised private companies to provide only preventative and defensive services and stop engaging in activities exclusively the responsibility of military or enforcement authorities.
“Governments have the primary role of maintaining law and order, security and respect for human rights. However, Companies have an interest in ensuring that actions taken by governments, particularly the actions of public security providers are consistent with the protection and promotion of human rights. Private companies should not employ individuals credibly implicated in human rights abuses to provide services or violate the rights of individuals as recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ILO”
“Companies should consult regularly with host governments and local communities about the impact of their security arrangements on those communities. Companies should communicate their policies regarding ethical conduct and human rights to public security providers. Companies should encourage host communities to permit making security arrangements transparent and accessible to the public, subject to any overriding safety and security concerns. Individuals credibly implicated in human rights abuses should not provide security services for Companies. Force should be used only when strictly necessary and to an extent proportional to the threat. The rights of individuals should not be violated while exercising the right to exercise freedom of association and peaceful assembly. In cases where physical force is used by the public security, such incidents should be reported to the appropriate authorities and to the Company. Where force is used, medical aid should be provided to injured persons, including to offenders”.
He stated that the Nigerian Government participation at the VPs plenary meeting in Bogota was indication of better things to come.
“Government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to evaluate Nigeria’s membership to the VPI. LITE-Africa provides technical input to the committee. Nigeria has been listed as one of the VPs priority countries alongside Burma and Ghana by the Steering Committee. However, the Nigerian government is yet to sign on to the VPs”.
Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights is a multi-stakeholder initiative which espouses a set of principles designed to guide extractive companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within a framework that ensures respects for human rights.
Diligent implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights holds numerous potential benefits for Nigeria including peace-building; conflict prevention; enhanced governance of the extractive sector, promotion and protection of human rights; improving dialogue, cordiality, collaboration and problem-solving amongst stakeholders in the extractive sector with respect to issues of security and human rights.
In addition, it has the potential to contribute to an extractive sector that is conducive to trade and investment; where extractive companies can operate maximally, which would in turn enable the Nigerian government optimally generate revenues which can be deployed towards promoting the welfare of the nation and actualizing other national objectives.
The VPI is also an immensely useful tool for attaining the objectives of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, specifically in the area of security and human rights.
Countries that are signatories to the VPI include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Signatory extractive companies include: Seven Energy, Total, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Statoil, Shell, Hess Corporation, Tullow Oil, Rio Tinto, British Petroleum; Anglo American, PanAust, ConocoPhillips, Goldcorp, Hess Corporation, Repsol, Barrick Gold Corporation, Glencore and BHP Billiton.
NGO signatories to the VPI include Lite Africa, COMPPART, International Alert, Search for Common Ground, Pact and The Fund for Peace.
The international observers participating in the VPI include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Council on Mining and Metals; Colombian Mining and Energy Committee on Security and Human Rights; The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association; Institute for Human Rights and Business; International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA)
The visit of the delegation would also strengthen the work of the Nigerian In-Country Pilot Implementation Working Group (ICPWG) on the VPI, established in 2017 to promote its implementation in Nigeria, while also identifying and responding to local in-country challenge with a view to devising joint solutions to those challenges.
Oil companies pledge to continue advocating benefits of Voluntary Principles to other stakeholders
Companies operating in the Nigerian oil and gas industry weekend pledged to continue advocating the benefits of the Voluntary Principles to other stakeholders across government and corporate organizations.
“Chevron Nigeria Limited, Total Exploration and Production and The Shell Petroleum Development Company are active participants in the in-country implementation working group of the Voluntary Principles (VP) initiative and we are pleased that all three companies participated in the activities marking the week-long visit of the Co-Chairs of the VP initiative to Nigeria” said Corporate Security General Manager, Total Exploration and Production, Brig. Gen. David Lubo (Rtd).
In a report presented to press men in Abuja, Lubo said the oil and gas companies in Nigeria fully implemented the voluntary principles.
“The co-chairs engaged with the companies and we are happy with the implementation of the Voluntary Principles pertaining to the security of their operations and the relationship with host communities”.
The companies also resolved to continue working with them in the in-country implementation working group.
“We will continue advocating the benefits of the Voluntary Principles to other stakeholders across government and corporate organizations” the report said.
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NGOs list ways to reverse Nigeria’s negative image
Non-governmental organizations in Nigeria weekend urged law enforcement agencies to integrate the voluntary principles in their training programmes, mobilization and deployment of personnel to security duties in critical national assets in the oil, gas and mining sector as this will guarantee that rights of local communities will be respected.
They also appealed to government agencies, particularly those responsible for registering, licensing and regulating private security firms to integrate human rights observance as a precondition as this will go along in entrenching core human rights values and the culture of respecting the dignity of the human person in the country.
At a world press conference in Abuja, Executive Director, Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE), Mr. Joel Bisina said the launch of the In-country implementation pilot group and the visit of the steering committee delegation to Nigeria remained glorious achievements of the Voluntary Principles Initiative.
Attention, the LITE executive director said, was focused on increasing knowledge base through training, dialogues and consultative meetings on the VPs at the highest level of government.
“The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights is anchored on three pillars. That is the Government Pillar, The Corporate Pillar and the NGO pillar respectively. As a multi-stakeholders initiative, the Voluntary Principles provide good sets of guidelines to companies in deploying security personnel to their facilities in ways that respects the rights of the communities in which they operate” he said.
Besides, he emphasized the role of NGO pillars in facilitating confident building dialogue when allegations of VPs non-adherence occur.
“NGO pillars are helping the government and the corporate pillars to identify areas that need improvement related to the VPs, support the development and roll out tools to improve implementation as well encourage participation in the implementation of the principles.
Bisina listed working singularly and collaboratively to advance and increase knowledge base in the country over the years as a major achievement of NGO pillar in Nigeria.
“The launch of the In-country implementation pilot group has further strengthened these efforts in bringing the pillars to a common room where they discuss security and human rights challenges creatively and collaboratively. This is clear departure from the past where it was a blaming and name calling game. The message is now ‘knowing and showing’ rather ‘them against us’ or ‘we against them’ this changing narrative underscore the power of the voluntary Principles in promoting consultations and dialogues among stakeholders in the extractive and mining sector through joint-problem solving”
He urged the Federal government to sign-on to the voluntary principles.
“The visit of the steering committee delegation to Nigeria this week further reinforces the work the In-country Implementation Working Group has been doing, in bringing greater visibility to the VPs at a very high level of government. It will be a great outcome for the country to sign-on to the VPs” he said.
ROOSDORP SPEAKS ON VPI STEERING COMMITTEE VISIT, LAUDS NIGERIAN AUTHORITIES
Current chair of the Voluntary Principles Initiative, Mr. Ronald Roosdorp said in Abuja on Saturday that the Nigerian Authorities showed great interest in the initiative.
“This field trip shows how the security in the mining and oil industry could be increased when companies, civil society and government cooperate together” he told news men in Abuja.
Roosdorp who spoke on the visit of the initiative’s steering committee to Nigeria said trust building through discussion was the fastest way to improve security.
“Trust building through discussion is the fastest way to improve security and also benefits local employment and foreign investment”
Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights is a multi-stakeholder initiative which espouses a set of principles designed to guide extractive companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within a framework that ensures respects for human rights.
Diligent implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights holds numerous potential benefits for Nigeria including peace-building; conflict prevention; enhanced governance of the extractive sector, promotion and protection of human rights; improving dialogue, cordiality, collaboration and problem-solving amongst stakeholders in the extractive sector with respect to issues of security and human rights.
In addition, it has the potential to contribute to an extractive sector that is conducive to trade and investment; where extractive companies can operate maximally, which would in turn enable the Nigerian government optimally generate revenues which can be deployed towards promoting the welfare of the nation and actualizing other national objectives.
The VPI is also an immensely useful tool for attaining the objectives of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, specifically in the area of security and human rights.
Countries that are signatories to the VPI include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Signatory extractive companies include: Seven Energy, Total, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Statoil, Shell, Hess Corporation, Tullow Oil, Rio Tinto, British Petroleum; Anglo American, PanAust, ConocoPhillips, Goldcorp, Hess Corporation, Repsol, Barrick Gold Corporation, Glencore and BHP Billiton.
NGO signatories to the VPI include Lite Africa, COMPPART, International Alert, Search for Common Ground, Pact and The Fund for Peace.
The international observers participating in the VPI include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Council on Mining and Metals; Colombian Mining and Energy Committee on Security and Human Rights; The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association; Institute for Human Rights and Business; International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA)
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08036977194
FG to VPI delegation: We’ll take decision on observer status soon
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami Friday expressed deep appreciation to the steering committee of the Voluntary Principles Initiative for prioritizing and recommending Nigeria as one of the countries to be considered for free subscription at the plenary in March 2018 at Washington D.C, United States.
He also announced that Nigeria would soon take a decision on her observer status.
“In due course, the nation will take a decision to evaluate her observer status” Malami said during the visit of the VPI delegation to the Ministry of Justice.
Represented by the Director, Legal Drafting, Mamman Hamzat Takir, Malami assured the delegation of the commitment of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the enthronement of the rule of law and the delivery of fair and equitable justice to all Nigerians, foreigners and investors without fear or favour as they carry on business in a safe condition.
“Considering the need for the communal cooperation and coordination of security and human rights activities in the extractive sector, it has become increasingly necessary to come together to appraise the efforts at both the government, corporate and non-governmental organizations levels to achieve a safe, friendly, secured, business and human rights compliant environment. This visit therefore, would give us the opportunity to learn from each other, share ideas and identify roadmaps that would facilitate a justice system that meets the hopes and aspirations of our citizens particularly in the extractive zones” he said.
The Minister assured that the Justice Ministry would stick to its role of checking and balancing the supremacy of the laws of the land and sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As you are aware, the Federal Ministry of Justice is the legal institution of Government to create the necessary synergy between the Federal Government, corporate bodies and non-governmental organizations as pillars of the Voluntary Principles Initiative”.
Earlier, the current chair of the Voluntary Principles Initiative, Mr. Ronald Roosdorp informed top officials of the ministry of the benefits that would accrue to Nigeria as a signatory to the VPI.
“It is not an instrument or a binding law. It is to reduce security risk in the attractive industry through dialogue and cooperation. It is also to improve things on ground and assist governments, companies and communities in achieving their goals” he said.
Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights is a multi-stakeholder initiative which espouses a set of principles designed to guide extractive companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within a framework that ensures respects for human rights.
Diligent implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights holds numerous potential benefits for Nigeria including peace-building; conflict prevention; enhanced governance of the extractive sector, promotion and protection of human rights; improving dialogue, cordiality, collaboration and problem-solving amongst stakeholders in the extractive sector with respect to issues of security and human rights.
In addition, it has the potential to contribute to an extractive sector that is conducive to trade and investment; where extractive companies can operate maximally, which would in turn enable the Nigerian government optimally generate revenues which can be deployed towards promoting the welfare of the nation and actualizing other national objectives.
The VPI is also an immensely useful tool for attaining the objectives of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, specifically in the area of security and human rights.
Countries that are signatories to the VPI include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Signatory extractive companies include: Seven Energy, Total, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Statoil, Shell, Hess Corporation, Tullow Oil, Rio Tinto, British Petroleum; Anglo American, PanAust, ConocoPhillips, Goldcorp, Hess Corporation, Repsol, Barrick Gold Corporation, Glencore and BHP Billiton.
NGO signatories to the VPI include Lite Africa, COMPPART, International Alert, Search for Common Ground, Pact and The Fund for Peace.
The international observers participating in the VPI include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Council on Mining and Metals; Colombian Mining and Energy Committee on Security and Human Rights; The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), International Petroleum Indust1ry Environmental Conservation Association; Institute for Human Rights and Business; International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA)
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