04 October 2015, Lagos – Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, Limited and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, yesterday signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Grand Bonny Kingdom in Rivers State, which transfers responsibility of driving sustainable community development from the corporate organisations to the community.
As part of the MoU, NLNG would make available N3 billion yearly through the Bonny Kingdom Development Foundation (BKDF).
The MoU sets the terms for the establishment of BKDF that will manage all the community developmental activities, supervise initiatives by NLNG and SPDC and implement a revised Bonny Master Plan in Bonny.
NLNG’s General Manager in charge of External Relations, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, said in a statement last night that the foundation would be funded by NLNG and SPDC.
According to the statement, the new MoU replaces a 1998 MoU signed by the companies, known as Joint Industry Companies (JIC), for the Kingdom to provide infrastructure and implement a master plan, which has led to the provision of power supply, good roads, portable water supply, and a vocation school.
The Amanyanabo of Ancient Grand Bonny Kingdom, King Edward Asimini William DappaPepple III, Perekule XI signed the new MoU on behalf of Grand Bonny Kingdom, in the presence of Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, Deputy Governor, Rivers State, and Hon. Benjamin Ibietonye, Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Bonny Local Government area.
During the signing ceremony at the palace of the Amanyanabo, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa, said the new MoU would change the approach of NLNG’s partnership with its host communities in a way that enables them take charge of their development.
According to him “ I am pleased to announce the following three tranches of contributions that NLNG will make annually, through the BKDF towards this vision: N1bn towards the operations and maintenance of ongoing educational and utility institutions; N1bn towards the developmental initiatives of the Kingdom as reflected in the Updated Master Plan; and another N1bn would be set aside as bonus to the community, which would only be released on the condition that there was a conducive environment to our businesses.”
Also addressing guests at the ceremony, the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, noted: “We’re delighted at the inauguration of the new MoU for Bonny Kingdom. The successes of the previous MoU should inspire all parties to accord the latest one all the attention it deserves. SPDC will play its part to make the MoU work for the benefit of all stakeholders in this ancient kingdom.”
The 1998 agreement created Bonny Vocational Centre (BVC) and Bonny Utility Company (BUC) among other initiatives. BVC is accredited by the United Kingdom’s City and Guilds as well as the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) in Nigeria, assuring the quality of teaching and instruction that is delivered at the Centre. BUC, on the other hand, provides Bonny Island with reliable power supply.
NLNG is owned by four shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (49 per cent), Shell Gas BV, SGBV, (25.6 per cent), Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15 per cent), and Eni International (N.A,) N. V. S. a. r. l (10.4 per cent).
*Ejiofor Alike – Thisday