Against insinuation that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has totally left Delta State, the oil firm on Wednesday says it is still around and implementing its Joint Venture projects for its host communities.
SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Mr. Igo Weli stated this during the commissioning of a multi-million naira 400-sitting capacity town hall for Ogunu community, near Warri.
BigPen Online reports that this is coming just as SPDC on Wednesday endowed a Professorial Chair in Light Weight Automobile Engine Department at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, both in Delta State.
According to Weli, there is no better way to correct the erroroneous assumption than the inaguration of the project which was conceived in 2011 when SPDC took the decision to drastically scale down its presence in Warri.
“One common assumption is that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has left Delta State.This erroneous assumption stems from equating the divestment of oil fields on land areas in the state and related assets to total shut down of operation in all of Delta State. There is no better way to correct this error than to be here on Ogunu soil for the inauguration of a modern town hall for our host community Ogunu”.
He said that despite the divestment of large swarth of its assets in Delta State, Ogunu retained its relevance as an essential logistics base for SPDC operations in swamp, swallow water and further afield.
Weli said that the project was a direct result of cordial relationship between SPDC and Ogunu which have spanned several decades.
Earlier in a welcome address, the community chairman, Hope Eshaeghara commended SPDC for the ediface which he said besides being a meeting facility, would also generate income for the community.
“The town hall project conceived since 2011would be significant for the community in terms of its income generation appeal and the ambience it gives for promoting gainful deliberations on moving Ogunu forward”.
In his goodwill message, Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Mofe Pirah said that SPDC has been a lifewire to the SMART agenda of the Okowa’s administration, saying that some of its project were in tendem with the state government developmental policy.
According to him, “There’s an impression about us in Warri, Delta and entire Niger Delta that we have drove all the oil companies away. The attitude of individuals, government and everyone may have contributed to this erroneous impression”.
He however said that the bulk of the blame would go to those responsible for pipeline vandalism, armed robbery and kidnapping which has been inimical to the economic growth of the state.