Port Harcourt — The Nigeria LNG Limited, NLBG, on Thursday launched a new Global Memoranda of Understanding, GMoU, for communities in Rivers State hosting its Gas Transmission System facilities.
The GMoU Phase Two, involving six new clusters, namely Abua, Egi, Ekpeye, Kalabari, Ogba and Okrika communities; according to NLNG, is a model for sustainable community development in which communities are grouped in clusters and empowered to take ownership of their development drive.
The General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, NLNG, Mr Andy Odeh, said the company’s previous GMoU with three communities, (Ubeta, Rumuji and Ogbumnuabali), who are hosts to its Gas Transmission System facilities and Corporate Head Office, have been yielding excellent results.
Odeh explained that the move was imperative as the GMOU framework has already been adopted by multinationals such as SPDC, Chevron and TotalEnergies, for managing relations with their respective host communities and has proven fruitful over the years.
He expressed optimism that opportunities for collaboration and partnership with other local and international development partners will open up in the future as the model matures.
“The decision to take up this model of relationship is based on the yearnings and observed developmental deficits in our GTS communities. The need to bridge the infrastructural gaps, to alleviate poverty and unemployment whilst building community capacity to drive their affairs necessitated this novel approach for CSR activities.
“This GMOU will enable us to achieve the twin objectives of human and infrastructural capacity development in our host communities. This is because each community cluster will take a
leadership role to drive its own development by selecting, reviewing and executing its projects based on its identified needs.
“Of course, this will be in line with identified CSR pillars of NLNG which are Education, Health, Empowerment and Infrastructures.
“Communities will not be left to navigate this new terrain alone. Support will be provided by NLNG and other key stakeholders, including the Government and technical partners like our mentoring NGOs and the GMOU’s Technical Adviser who are all present with us today.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, Rivers State House of Assembly Committee on Environment, Hon. Christian Ahiakwo, commending NLNG for building what he described as “a system that will encourage gender inclusive, reduce suspicion, community unity and cause development.”
Ahiakwo also urged the management of NLNG to ensure that members of the cluster boards are retained to understand their roles and attract sustained community development.
Speaking on behalf of the communities, Chief O. Martins, noting the years of cordial relationship between the communities and the company, said the new GMoU was a new paradigm towards community development.
Chief Martin’s also charged the gas multinational on more benefits for the communities, saying “Let the GMoU allow the communities to directly manage their resources, especially those hosting the natural gas and pipelines.”
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