The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture (JV) has appealed to its host communities to continue to create the enabling environment for sustainable business growth.
Mr Igo Weli, the SPDC General Manager, External Relations, made the appeal on Thursday at the inauguration of 34 community projects in Ogulagha Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta.
The projects were executed through a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) between SPDC and Ogulagha Kingdom Cluster Development Board (OKCDB).
Weli was represented at the occasion by Mr Arthur Owagbedia, the Installation Manager, SPDC Forcados Terminal.
He said it was only when businesses thrive that the oil giant could undertake more social investment initiatives in Niger Delta communities.
According to him, the oil multinational remains committed to the creation of greater positive impact in the oil-bearing communities and the entire Niger Delta region.
“The Ogulagha Kingdom Communities will benefit more social investment projects and programmes if people can continue to promote peace, safety and growth among themselves and support SPDC-JV’s sustained uninterrupted production.
“I encourage all stakeholders to speak up against sabotage of facilities, because willful damage of the company assets, like pipelines, is a criminal act that sadly has a far-reaching negative implications for people and the environment.
“Sabotage to facilities harms the environment and is also unsafe for those undertaking these dangerous activities.
“We must speak up against the theft of crude oil, vandalism and the attendant damage to our environment,” he said.
In his remarks, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta reiterated the state government’s commitment to provide safe and enabling environment for investors.
Okowa, represented by Mr Emmanuel Amgbaduba, the Commissioner for Oil and Gas in Delta, also urged SPDC to improve on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the host communities.
“I will do everything humanly possible to make Delta a business destination.
“The SPDC and other oil companies should improve on their CSR in the areas of employment, contracts and award of scholarship,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of Ogulagha Kingdom Cluster Development Board, Mr Linus Yeinanagbegha, said the board was inaugurated in 2015 and started receiving fund in 2016.
Yeinanagbegha said that the board had embarked on several projects across the Ogulagha Kingdom.
He said that some of the projects had been completed, while others were at various stages of completion.
Yeinanagbegha listed some of the completed projects for inauguration to include: construction and furnishing of three units of two-bedroom flats in teachers quarters, Construction of two units, six standard public conveniences, among others.
“We appreciate the SPDC; the entire Ogulagha Kingdom is pleased with the SPDC considering the accelerated development of the Kingdom through the GMoU,” he said.