Port Harcourt — Oil giant, Chevron Nigeria Limited says it has given over N3.5billion since 2005, to its host communities in Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State.
Chevron’s host communities in Bayelsa State are clustered under the acronym KEFFES, which stands for Koluama I and Koluama II, Ezetu I and Ezetu II, Foropa, Fish Town, Ekeni and Santana.
Speaking, CNL General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Mr Esimaje Brinkinn, said the oil firm provided the funds under the Global Memorandum of Understanding administered by KEFFES Rural Development Foundation, KRDF.
Brinkinn speaking on Thursday at the 2020 Annual General Meeting of KRDF in Yenagoa, assured that Chevron remain committed to its social obligations even in the harsh operating environment occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that the said funds spent over the years went into both infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects, such as scholarships and human capital development, which have added value to KEFFES communities.
“This is a tough time for the Oil and Gas industry globally. Nevertheless, Chevron takes its role as a corporate citizen in Nigeria seriously and remains active in many projects that promote health, education and economic development.
“We are committed to the terms of the GMoU. We will carry through on our commitments as contained in the agreements,” He said.
According to the audited reports for 2019,and 2020 financial years presented at the meeting, the KRDF received a total sum of N401.29 million in 2019 and N386.58 million in 2020 from Chevron for development of the eight communities.
Earlier, Chairman of KRDF, Mr Mathew Sele-Epri, said who commended CNL for keeping faith and meeting its funding obligations to the GMoU, also appealed for upward review of the funding in view of inflationary trends.
Sele-Epri assured that the communities were committed to peaceful atmosphere and providing a business friendly environment for oil and gas activities in the domain and urged the youths to support the efforts of the foundation.
For his part, the Paramount Ruler of Koluama I, Chief Jeremiah Leghemo, thanked Chevron for meeting its social obligations in face of daunting challenges facing the oil industry and urged other stakeholders to build the foundation to grow to enviable heights.
He urged government officials to refrain from interfering with the selection of community representatives o KRDF as it was against the letters and intent of the GMoU.