Royal Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited (SPDC), says there will be more of the Shell JV social investment projects in the Niger Delta when oil bearing communities continue to create an enabling environment for the sustenance of business.
“It is important to realise that it is only when businesses in your environment thrive that we can undertake more social investment initiatives”, Shell’s Manager, External Relations, Mr. Igo Weli told stakeholders during a project commissioning event in Delta state.
According to him, with the SPDC JVs sustained uninterrupted production, there will be many more social investment projects and programmes that will benefit the people.
He, therefore tasked stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, particularly those in the oil bearing communities to outrightly condemn activities of crude oil saboteurs in the Niger Delta.
Weli spoke during the commissioning of 34 projects undertaken through the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) of Ogulagha Kingdom Cluster in Burutu council area of Delta state on Thursday.
He stressed that pipeline vandalism and oil theft not only affect business negatively, but also pose threat to humans and the environment.
Installation Manager Forcados Terminal, Engr. Arthur Owagbedia, who represented him at the event, pointed out that having smooth operations will ensure more social investments such as the ones being commissioned, that will benefit its host communities.
Speaking further at the event witnessed by the monarch of the kingdom, HRM Elder (Capt.) Joseph Timiyan, he commended the Ogulagha Kingdom Cluster Development Board (OKCDB) for collaborating with the mentoring non-governmental organisation, Initiative for Community Development (ICD) and other stakeholders in realising the projects and programmes.
“I therefore urge our host communities to continue to create an enabling environment for the sustenance of business. It is important to realise that it is only when businesses in your environment thrive that we can undertake more social investment initiatives.
“SPDC JV desires that this cluster thrives, full of rich and varied projects, programmes and businesses designed to address the needs of the community. If Ogulagha kingdom continues to promote peace, safety and growth among themselves and support SPDC JVs sustained uninterrupted production there will be many more social investment projects and programmes that will benefit the people.
“I also encourage all stakeholders to speak up against sabotage of facilities because willful damage of company assets, like pipelines, is a criminal act that sadly also has far-reaching negative implication for the people and environment.
“Sabotage to facilities harms the environment and is also unsafe for those undertaking this dangerous activity. We must speak up against crude oil, vandalism and the attendant damage to our environment,” Weli stated.
Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba who represented Governor Ifeanyi Okowa at the occasion, highlighted the essence of the GMoU, stating that “it gives equal negotiation opportunity to all stakeholder by eliminating issues of distrust, disharmony and conflict in our host communities”. he said that delta would continue to create enabling environment for investors in the state.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of Ogulagha Kingdom Cluster Development Board (OKCDB), Chief Linus Yeinanagbegha, expressed gratitude to the SPDC JV for the introduction of the GMoU in the kingdom, as well as awarding scholarships to some students, outside the regular post-primary scholarship programme.
The projects inaugurated are, renovation of Obotobo 1 Community Town Hall, construction of Obotobo 1 Community Bridge, construction of Obotobo 2 community Corps members lodge, award of 272 scholarships, vocational skill training program for 101 youths/women, among others.