Port Harcourt — The Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, says it has injected over N2.2billion into the southern swamp associated gas solution area for community development as top-up funds for the Community Cluster Development Boards, CDBs in Bayelsa and Delta states.
SPDC General Manager, External Relations, Mr. Igo Weli, stated this during the graduation and award ceremony for beneficiaries of the Shell’s Enterprise Development Programme in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital.
Weli also disclosed that the oil firm has raised about 6,659 entrepreneurs from its gas fields in Bayelsa and Delta states alone from 2003 till date.
“SPDC has injected a total of N2.2billion into the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solution area for community development as top-up funds for the Community Cluster Development Boards in Bayelsa and Delta.”
Represented by the Manager, External Relations, Mr. Adebanjo Adekoya, Weli explained that the company decided to embark on the scheme to provide alternative income and to divert the attention of the youths from restiveness.
Earlier, the Facilitator, Centre for Information and Development, Mrs. Belema Obigwe, who facilitated the training, explained that 130 youths nominated for the scheme by their communities were shortlisted in April 2018.
Obigwe stated that out of the 130, only 79 successfully completed the training, while 49 of them passed the assessment tests conducted at the end of the scheme.
She added that the beneficiaries received intensive training on business management and were assigned to established entrepreneurs for mentorship.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Erebi Robinson, who commended SPDC for the training opportunity and the start-up grants, said the training was practical and beneficial.
“We were given the training to support our business ideas and Shell is also supporting us with start-up capital.
“We are now out of the labour market and Shell has encouraged us to expand to create more jobs.”
The 49 youths who completed the enterprise development programme received start-up grants of N19.60million.
The beneficiaries were also assisted to register their business names and received certificates of registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission.