Port Harcourt — In order to enable host communities take ownership and drive sustainable development, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, has signed Global Memoranda of Understanding with some of her host communities in Rivers State.
The Company, announced the first phase of the new agreements with the community stakeholders, comprising Ogbum-nu-Abali, Ubeta and Rumuji communities in Rivers State.
Under this framework, 10 clusters will ultimately be created to drive community-initiated projects through a Foundation that will have a Board of Trustees, Steering Committees, and Community Trusts.
NLNG will provide funds for these clusters and also encourage them to seek additional funds from other donors to finance development initiatives in the respective communities.
Speaking, NLNG’s General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Mrs Eyono Fatayi-Williams, said the Company’s commitment to its vision of “being a global LNG Company, was driving its passion for sustainable relationships with its partners in the community.
Fatayi-Williams said the GMoU would give each community leverage over developmental projects unique to its own needs.
She added that the agreements would contribute to changing the socio-economic terrain of the communities, providing jobs, and creating a conducive business environment for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
“We, at NLNG, are enthusiasts of participatory sustainable development where the community takes on a leadership role to drive its growth, with the support of NLNG.
“Each community will identify its development needs and work out implementation through partnerships and physical oversight of projects. We intend to mentor the communities through partnerships with non-governmental agencies and international development agencies to build capacity in managing projects and sustaining outcomes.
“The development of the communities by the communities and for the communities is a win-win strategy for everyone.
“It will re-build the basic value of shared responsibility and ownership of development initiatives, thereby ensuring that our hearts and minds are involved in the sustainable development of our communities,” she said.
Mrs Fatayi-Williams stated that the Company would continue to pursue sustainable development within its CSR framework, which hinges on four pillars: education, health, economic empowerment, and infrastructure development.
She added that the GMoU would create a safe and peaceful environment for all stakeholders to thrive and meet both development and business goals.
Also, the Commissioner of Chieftaincy and Community Affairs in Rivers State, Sam Ejekwu, commended NLNG and communities for peacefully agreeing to the GMoU.
Ejekwu stated that the GMoU was in the right direction for the development of communities in the state. He described the GMoU as a partnership between the company and the government to drive sustainable development.