29 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa-The Anglo Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) yesterday said as at June 2011 it had committed the sum of N4.324billion to regular GMoU CDBs in Bayelsa State alone under the supervision of the Ministry of Energy.
The Vice President, HSE and Corporate Affairs of the SPDC, Mr. Tony Attah who stated this during the 2011 GMoU held in Yenagoa at the Bayelsa State Government House Banquet Hall said the developmental challenges of the South South region was enormous and cannot be the full responsibility of the oil multinational alone.
“We do not have all the answers or capacity to deal with all the issues in the Niger Delta. If we are going to tackle the challenges faced by the region, there must be a creative partnerships between industry, government at all levels and civil society,” he and urged all stakeholders in the region to work in synergy to address all the socio-economic needs of the zone, with a view to creating enabling atmosphere for peace and tranquility.
Represented by Mr. Evans Krukrubo, Mr. Attah said, “GMOU, a partnership vehicle for social change has undertaken the implementation of 333 projects. More than half of these are already completed and the rest are at various stages of completion.”
Mr. Attah who called on the government both at the state and federal government level to rise up to its responsibilities, added, “Gbarain/Ubie Integrated Oil and Gas Project has executed 169 projects, including the provision of electricity to nine communities in Okordia/Zarama area of Bayelsa state.”
He further disclosed that “the programmes we are celebrating today are planned, executed and owned by the representatives of cluster communities through various Trusts and Clusters Development Boards (CBD), while SPDC joint venture partnership provide the funding for the projects targeted at enhancing living conditions of the residents in South South.”
In his remark, former Minister of Petroleum, and now the Amayanabo of Nembe Kingdom, HRM Dr. Edmund Daukoru, Mingi the XII admitted that SPDC had impacted positively on the capital development of the oil producing communities, adding that the oil giant should not rest on its oars and do more for the Niger Delta region, with a view to ensuring sustainable development.
Daukoru, who is also the chairman, South-South Monarch Forum, called on the host communities to protect the capital projects implemented so far for the benefit of all and sundry.
Also speaking, the chairman of Kou Cluster Development Foundation, Mr. Osteen Igbapike while commending the effort of the SPDC said, “Kou Cluster Development Board is proud to say that GMoU is the best interface that has come to the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta,” adding that between 2007 and 2011 the foundation has successfully carried out 35 social and infrastructural projects at the cost of N467,942,264.54.
Representatives of the various clusters also lauded the SPDC for the GMoU which they described as vehicle for social change and is being felt in their communities.