11 March 2014, Lagos – Energia, a marginal oil field company operated jointly with Oando Plc, has handed over several projects worth N448,228,568, under its corporate social responsibility programme to its host communities in Ndokwa Local Government Area of Delta State.
The projects were executed from the $5,937,687.96 so far remitted to the host communities through their respective community Trust Funds.
The projects include the 2.8 kilometer Emu-Ebendo community road, asphalted with interlocked walkways and drainage system; Obodougwa community road; and Umusam community road. Others are Umusedege Okpalauku’s palace project and several water boreholes with generating sets for all round pumping.
The Emu-Ebendo road was built at the cost of N265,378,652; Obodougwa road cost N46,270,504. Umusam community road was constructed at a cost N94,234,520, Okpalauku’s palace was built and furnished with N30,134,139, while the bore holes project cost N12,210,753.
Several other projects such as markets, refurbishing of schools, town halls, water projects, transformers for stable power supply and peace and reconciliation programme were executed in the 2011/ 2012 development year.
The company said the projects were in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility approach, whereby a percentage of crude production was given to the communities who decide what projects they would execute with the allocation.
Speaking at the opening and handing over ceremony, the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Professor Amos Utuama, commended Energia for being novel in its approach to community development projects and assured that the state would do all within its powers to ensure a good and peaceful working environment.
Utuama who spoke through Mr. David Ighovoja, his Senior Special Assistant on Information Communication Technology, urged the communities to maintain a peaceful working environment that will boost the company’s production, which will in turn, transform the communities.
He enjoined other companies operating in the state to borrow a leaf from Energia as government could not handle all development projects alone. He expressed happiness that within a short period of its operations, Energia has improved the lots of its host communities.
Also speaking during the occasion, Managing Director of Energia, Mr. Felix Amieye-Ofori pointed out that the projects inaugurated were part of the many projects and programmes so far executed by his company and expressed hope that despite the challenges the company is faced with, its relationship with the host communities would get better.
He explained that Energia ensured the building of a transparent structure through the signing of Memorandum of Understanding and Trust Fund, which outlined the obligations of each party in the agreement.
He said: “Pursuant to the trust Deeds and MoUs with the respective communities, a Trust Fund where three per cent of the gross production proceeds of crude sale by the Joint Venture is remitted for the sustainable infrastructural development projects and human capacity building of the respective communities.
Thereafter, Trust Boards were set up from the host communities of Emu-Ebendo, Obodougwa-Ogume, Umusadege, Isumpe, Umusam and Ogbeani and Energia/Oando. They manage the remittances to the Trust Fund bank accounts as well as meet with communities to approve which projects would be executed.
Apart from project executed under the Trust Fund, Energia has carried out other training and skill acquisition programmes. These include Elders welfare programmes, educational remedial programme, internal security administration and management, agricultural programmes, youths skill acquisition programme and donation of vehicles among others.
So far, Energia has employed 157 host community people since inception of production. The company currently produces 8,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and targets to boost production to 15,000 bopd in 2014/2015 from the four wells it has so far drilled.
Chairman of the Impacted Communities Trust Board, Mr. Chuks Ochonogor, poured encomiums on Energia, pointing out that if other oil companies with bigger production capacities were committed to development of their host communities as Energia, there would probably not be security issues in the region
– Chikia Amanze-Nwachuku