The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) over the weekend in Warri, highlighted its increasing presence in Delta State when SPDC General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli, enumerated ongoing projects and social investment schemes in the state, particularly its operations at Forcados, the Sea Eagle Floating Production, Storage and Offloading FPSO) vessel, 19 Producing Fields within four Production Nodes and several gas projects.
Weli said, “SPDC JV has strong commitment to the development of Delta State and Nigeria through its delivery of positive social outcomes and strong relationships with stakeholders and communities to support business growth and social license to operate.”
Represented at the event by SPDC Head Government Relations West, Alaye Dokubo, he said the company’s ongoing projects, which include Forcados Yokri Integrated, Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solution, Escravos NGC and Otumara Associated Gas Gathering, point to growth in its business in Delta State.
Weli spoke to journalists in Warri at the media launch of the 2019 edition of the Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes, an annual publication detailing the activities of the business interests of the global energy giant in Nigeria covering the SPDC, the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Shell Nigeria Gas and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas.
He asked stakeholders in the Niger Delta to make concerted efforts to curb the incessant vandalism of crude oil-bearing pipelines, highlighting the danger of continuous sabotage to people and environment in the region.
“While the SPDC JV develops its assets and facilities, it also implements several development projects for host communities, covering economic empowerment, human capital development and provision of social infrastructure”, he said.
Weli said, “As evidence of our commitment to Delta State, in 2018, SPDC JV spent more than N390 million on development projects in Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) clusters on roads, schools, town halls and markets, award of secondary school and university scholarships as well as microcredit programmes for small businesses.”
Since 2013, 174 youths from Delta State have benefited from the special Regional Shell LiveWIRE programme, a scheme that enables young entrepreneurs turn ideas into viable businesses. Each year, Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria provides training and finance for talented young entrepreneurs to set up and grow their businesses and, in 2018, SPDC JV awarded N108 million as startup grants to beneficiaries.
In 2018, the SPDC JV-supported two health facilities in Delta State. The Ogulagha Cottage Hospital and the Ojobo Cottage Hospital, in Burutu Local Government Area, received top quality and holistic health care support and services.
Also, SPDC’s Health-in-Motion programme in 2018 spent N5.8 million to provide Health care intervention to 5, 746 persons in areas that range from existing heath conditions, like hypertension, malaria, visual impairment hernia to other infections and 832 persons with impaired vision received eye glasses. Another 1,480 persons received HIV/AIDs counseling and testing, 3,500 persons treated for minor and chronic ailments and eight primary schools, with 1,321 children, received education and hygiene materials from the School-health programme.
Shell Companies in Nigeria have enjoyed a long history of supporting education through scholarships and other initiatives and, in addition to the regular SPDC scholarship which began in the 1950s, SPDC spent N417 million on Delta State beneficiaries of the Cradle-to-Career programme (a special scheme which gives fully-funded sponsorship to top secondary schools in Nigeria). Young graduates from Delta State continue to enjoy awards under the Niger Delta Post Graduate Scholarship Programme established in 2010 to grow the Nigerian talent pipeline for the oil and gas industry through scholarships at three UK universities – Imperial College London, University College London and University of Leeds.
In 2013, the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, became host for the SPDC JV-endowed Professorial Chair in Light Weight Automobile Engine Development, as well as the sponsorship of the university’s Shell Eco-Marathon car development team to the annual Shell Challenger event in South Africa.