Home Education Shell Inaugurates N.2bn Projects In Abia …As Communities Give Firm Knocks

Shell Inaugurates N.2bn Projects In Abia …As Communities Give Firm Knocks

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has inaugurated 15 Corporate Social Responsibility projects worth over N200million located in 13 autonomous communities in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State.
The sustainable development projects were executed by the Ukwa West Cluster Development Board (CDB) under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) driven by SPDC in Etitioha, Isi-Etitioha, Igiriukwu, Ipu West, Uzuaku, Umuorie, Umuahala, Umuokwor, Isi Obehie, Isi Nteke, Okohia, Umuelechi, and Umunteke.
The projects and programmes include installation of 2km low voltage distribution network at Igiriukwu; installation of solar power borehole water scheme and construction of convenience facility at the market square at Umuelechi; installation of low 500KVA transformer and 2km electricity extension line with 50 street lights at Uzuaka; and procurement of Toyota Hiace bus for Etitioha Transport Scheme for Etitioha community.
Others include award of undergraduate scholarships to indigenes of Isi-Etitioha; construction of 48 open market stalls, convenience building and solar powered water scheme at Igiriukwu; installation of one  500KVA Transformer for HV Transmission and LV Transmission Lines at Igiriukwu; rehabilitation of water scheme at Umuahala; installation of 2.5km HV Transmission Line from Omuma Junction to Azanmogo at Igiriukwu; construction of 12 open stalls at Umuelechi market; and construction of 100-capacity town hall at Isi Nteke.
Speaking during the ceremony at Owaza, headquarters of Ukwa West, last Thursday, SPDC General Manager, External Relations, Mr Igo Weli stated that this was the first time the company was bringing together communities in Ukwa West to collectively execute and take delivery of sustainable development projects as key testimony of the SPDC GMoU success story in the Niger Delta, explaining that the model places ownership of development projects in the hands of the communities.
Weli who was represented by Dr Chibuzor Anyim, commended the wisdom of members of the CDB in the selection of the projects, including undergraduate scholarship programme; power supply improvement; construction of market stalls; sanitation; water and town hall, among others, adding that the projects were pillars of building blocks for sustainable growth and development in the area.
While noting that the GMoU model, introduced by SPDC in 2007, has spread to 37 active clusters, with only one in Abia State, Weli enjoined the people of the area to sustain the peace which enabled the delivery of the projects to the communities.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum in Abia State, Mr Anthony Ojinji, commended SPDC for the GMoU and projects in host communities.
He said the Abia State Government expects SPDC to capture more communities hosting oil facilities in the next GMoU expected to take off in 2018, and urged the benefiting communities to protect the facilities and ensure peaceful environment for businesses to thrive.
On his part, the Chairman, Community Cluster Development Board, Comrade Martins Noah lauded SPDC for delivering on its commitment to the communities, including the addition of surveillance contracts to the GMoU, and pledged the readiness of CDB members to ensure that pipeline vandalism was reduced to its barest minimum in the area.
Also speaking, Secretary of the Asa Development Union, Dr Gabriel Ikechi Ajuzieogu stated that although SPDC has done well for the communities, but regretted that the value of the projects was not commensurate with what the company has gained from the area over the last 60 years.
In his remarks, Chairman, Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC), Chief Samuel Okezie Nwogu, while agreeing with Ajuzieogu’s position, called for prudent management of funds accruing to the CDB and host communities.
Nwogu, who also doubled as the representative of the Abia State Governor, Chief Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, however, thanked SPDC for delivering the projects that would improve the living conditions of the people, thereby reducing pipeline vandalism and other negative vices in the area.
He disclosed that the Abia State Government would soon establish a firm to provide security cover for oil pipelines in Imo River area, saying that the initiative would create over 200 job opportunities for the youth and help reduce the spate of criminality, including pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in the area.

Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

Source: thetidenewsonline

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