The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has disclosed that it spent over N1.2bn on 84 developmental projects at its clusters in Tarakiri and Oporoma in Sagbama and Southern Ijaw local government areas.
The General Manager, SPDC, Mr. Igo Weli, in separate speeches in Yenagoa during the inaugurations of some of the competed projects said the company invested N496. 9m to execute 24 projects in the Tarakiri clusters.
Weli, who said Shell was prioritising development of its host communities using the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) template added that the company spent N737.4million to develop 60 projects in its Oporoma clusters.
Weli, who was represented by Shell’s External Relations Manager, West Asset, Mr Evans Krukrubo listed Ayamasa, Agbere, Isampou, Ofoni, Agbialama and Egbema in Ekeremo and Sagbama LGAs as the benefiting communities in its Tarakiri clan.
He said: “Where the environment supports our business and we run our operations without disruptions, SPDC is committed to increasing the Social Investment that we make to host communities and to Nigeria.
“A peaceful and enabling environment allows SPDC Joint Venture to put more funding to social investment that benefits all our people.
“SPDC has disbursed about N41.1 billion to the 37 active clusters from 2006 till date for community development under the GMoU template”.
He said the projects cut across infrastructure, economic empowerment transportation intervention and scholarships.
He added: “The handover of these completed projects highlights the support SPDC gives to people in our areas of operation when there is a conducive environment for interaction and when we all take up the opportunities available to engage on matters that affect all of us. We encourage other communities to emulate the Oporomor GMoU Cluster and and progressive schemes to develop our communities”.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Tarakiri Cluster Development Board, Dr. Jude Ebibokefie, commended SPDC for promptly meeting its funding obligations which facilitated the completion of the projects.
He explained that the projects cut across infrastructure, skills acquisition and human capacity empowerment as well as scholarships executed and implemented by the established organs in the GMoU agreement spanning about five years.
Also about 25 women, who successfully completed skill acquisition trainings received a startup grant of N41.1 million at the occasion.
Also speaking for Southern Ijaw clusters, Speaker of Bayelsa state House of Assembly, Monday Obolo, said the state government had concluded plans to establish an Oil Communities Development Commission to accelerate development of oil-bearing communities within the state.
He noted that an executive bill sent to the Assembly by Governor Seriake Dickson had passed first hearing and would receive expeditious passage.
Obolo said the bill recommended that 13 per cent Derivation Funds should be channeled to development of oil communities to complement the social obligation gestures of oil firms operating in the state.
He said: “It is my view that the development funding currently being provided by Shell under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) is grossly inadequate compared to the level of contribution to oil output.
“The environment in our communities in Southern Ijaw has been so degraded and nothing is too much for the communities and that is why the Gov Seriake Dickson administration has taken steps to establish an Oil Producing Areas Commission to complement the GMoU”.