Niger Delta Militants
Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has revealed that the issue of security remains a major challenge occasioned by continuing crude oil theft and vandalism of oil and gas facilities in parts of the Niger Delta.
SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, who made the observation in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, 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.
Igo Weli noted that the continued criminal activities of these crude oil vandals have resulted in the loss of 11,000 Barrels Per Day of crude oil.
According to him “Illegal crude oil refining and third party interference are the main sources of pollution in the Niger Delta today. Third-party interference caused close to 90% of the number of spills of more than 100 kilograms from the SPDC-JV pipelines in 2018.
“Crude oil theft on SPDC’s pipeline network resulted in a loss of about 11,000 barrels of oil a day. Also, the number of sabotage- related spills of more than 100 kilograms in volume in 2018 increase to 111 compared to 62 in 2017.” Laments Weli.
Despite this set back the manager assured that Shell will still continue to invest in the region and consolidate on its achievements and growth in the region.
Continuing, he added. “Our support for development in the Niger Delta is more than a business strategy. It is a demonstration of our commitment to the well being of our hosts. That commitment remains unshaken, but it cannot prosper in an atmosphere of rancor. violence and endless acrimony.
“SPDC continues to collaborate with local community leaders, traditional rulers and state governments in the Niger Delta to implement several initiatives and partnerships to raise awareness on the negative impact of crude oil theft and illegal oil refining.”
Weli, represented by SPDC’s External Relations Manager, Corporate Lands Management, Trevor Akpomughe revealed that the company’s financial contribution to the development of host communities in Bayelsa State is now N23 billion under the Global Memorandum of Understanding GMoU.
This amount observed Weli, is half of the company’s GMoU spend in his host communities in the Niger Delta since the introduction of the community development model in 2006.
This is because a total of N44.36 billion had been disbursed to the 39 active GMoUclusters in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, and Abia states in the last 13 years.
“The SPDC JV GMoU development model gives communities a highly-valued opportunity to decide and implement projects and programmes that have a lasting impact on their lives.
“The priority of projects in Bayelsa State is as set by the active 14 GMoU clusters in the state and they include roads, community centres, health projects, and empowerment initiatives,” he said.
Also added to these interventions made by Shell are investments in education, health, and entrepreneurship. According to Weli “Our various enterprise development have produced over 332 entrepreneurs in Bayelsa state, most of whom have become employers of labour themselves,” he added.
Among the education programmes initiated and sustained by Shell is the Cradle-to Carrier programme which gives fully-funded sponsorship to top secondary schools in Nigeria. Various university scholarships are given to many Bayelsans among other similar programmes to advance their education.
(The Original Article appeared in Thisday Newspaper)