Life in the estate
A commentator once described the Okomu Oil Palm Company PLC as a “city in the forest”. This description elicited numerous questions, such as, “Can a city be in a forest”?
The most important assets of Okomu are its employees. Therefore, Okomu is committed to protecting and empowering them as this will ultimately result in both a sustainable and economic success for the Company in the long term. Okomu is continuously investing in improving the living conditions of its employees to ensure their social welfare, health, and security through the provision of social amenities that can be found in any modern environment.
Besides a good working environment, Okomu pays a lot of attention to the living conditions of its employees. Workers and their families are giving a comfortable apartment, along with all its amenities (water, sanitation, and power), at no cost to the employee. Improving the well-being of each worker through the provision of good living conditions has consistently shown that it improves interaction between co-workers, employee attendance and improves safety.
Okomu also encourages workers to participate in various sporting activities, the highlight of which is the annual MD’s football cup competition, which has 16 departmental teams playing each other for the valued MD’s cup. All plantations boast football fields and recently a multi-purpose basketball, volleyball and tennis court stadium was built on the main Okomu estate. Table tennis and snooker are other past times available to workers as recreational facilities. On the main estate, there is a golf course and workers are encouraged to play rounds of golf.
Okomu is serious about its educational obligations. Therefore, the Company operates its own staff primary school on the main estate. The Company also supports the local government by maintaining the classrooms of the government primary school and providing free accommodation to the government schoolteachers in the plantation. Okomu also provides free transportation to and from school for children attending high school in Udo.
Furthermore, Okomu operates its own day nursery in the main estate and Extension 2, so that children of workers can be adequately taken care of while their parents are at work.
The total number of pupils attending the staff and government schools at Okomu in 2021 are 540 and 220 respectively, staffed by 24 teachers.
The HSE committee also develops specific programs for identified health issues:
- Malaria: Distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, signs, campaigns/awareness, and treatment.
- HIV: Distribution of condoms, regular testing, signs, treatment and counselling, hygiene awareness/campaigns.
- Coronavirus: Distribution of nose masks, washing of hands, temperature check, provision of hand sanitizer, daily fumigation of fomites and periodic awareness programs.