Port Harcourt — The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, has announced that it has put the sum of $2billion into the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, between the year 2002 and 2018.
The Dutch multinational stated this at the 2019 SPDC-JV environment awareness quiz competition for land hub community secondary schools, held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Speaking, SPDC General Manager, External Relations, Mr. Igo Weli, said the company cannot do everything, since the company was a business and not a government agency.
Weli who said Shell has limited resources and can only make improvement, which the company was already doing, charged stakeholders to learn how to channel the right questions to the appropriate government authorities.
“About 80 percent of budget of this country is funded by the oil and gas industry and we (Shell) are right at the front in contributing to that.
“We have always talked about an agency like NDDC, which is actually set up to drive sustainable development in Niger Delta and also to manage the impact of oil and gas operations. From 2002 to 2018, SPDC, SNEPCo and her partners has put in $2 billion into NDDC. That is huge.
“So, I think the statement that we cannot do everything is just the truth. I think the idea is to get all of us as stakeholders to start asking the right questions and channelling them to the right quarters.
“People call to say ‘my road is not good’. Maybe your road is in the money I paid to government or to NDDC, maybe it is not in my budget. My budget is limited; we run a joint venture and every year and we agree budget with our JV partners; that is what we can spend.”
On essence of the quiz competition, Weli said the competition was important because it is about making the young ones to be concious of the environment, as it remains the biggest legacy that can be left to the children.
He added that the focus was on public secondary schools because that is where the attention was needed most.
“The is the fourth SPDC-JV environment quiz competition for our host communities in Imo, Abia and Rivers States. This is really important to us because it is about the future. The focus is on our younger ones, who are the future of tomorrow.
“But if we want to be truthful to ourselves, we have not done a good job of taking care of the environment. We are raising that awareness so that people can be aware of climate change, global warming and how bush burning is a problem to us.
“For an instance, the soot, which has been with us for so long in Rivers State; people should be able to see that activities of illegal refiners are a major problem. When we are complaining, we should be able to know where to direct out complaints and how to focus our mind in term of resolving the issue.”
Community Secondary School, Aleto-Eleme, emerged winner of the 2019 SPDC-JV environment awareness quiz competition for land hub community secondary schools, while Community Secondary School Rumuekini, Rivers State and Secondary Commercial School, Assa, in Imo State, clinched the second and third position.