Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) says it remitted $29.8 billion to the federation account; and $1.2b to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) between 2002 and 2016.
This recent revelation by the company runs contrary to the issue leading to an attack to Gas installation in Belelma River State by angry youths who demanded compensation from the company on oil exploration,
General Manager, External Relations, SPDC,Mr. Igo Weli said this on Monday, while speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt on the prevailing circumstances, and to enlighten the public on the happenings.
The GM, while reacting to the shutdown of SPDC flow station and gas plant in Belema community by angry youths who accused the company of neglecting their community,added that it was wrong to have done so.
He stated that the seizure of the company’s facilities by the youths of the community would not only send wrong signals to the international community, but was capable of discouraging further investment in the Niger Delta.
He said contrary to people’s expectations, the company doesn’t have the resources “to solve world hunger,” although it has added value to Nigeria’s growth “in several ways.”
“People are having high expectations from SPDC; they forget the company is not the government and do not have the resources to solve world hunger,” he said.
According to him, “SPDC has made several efforts to sensitise the people on how our business is run so that their expectations can be realistic and align with realities of how we run our business.“The business we do add value in several ways through contributions to the
Federation Account and the NDDC.”
He said, “Between 2012 and 2016, SPDC JV contributed $29.8b to the Federation Account, which flows down to the state governments, local governments and to the communities.”
He said that the company had also set aside three percent of its annual budget to NDDC as its contribution to the development of the Niger Delta.
He, however, described closure of the company’s facility as worrisome, especially as the company and its partners had spent millions of naira on human and infrastructure programmes in the communities.
“If the youths isolate our corporate social responsibility and put all the burden of infrastructure needs on SPDC, then the expectation would not balance,” he said.
He said,“In 2016 alone, our contribution to NDDC was 106.8m dollars; people need to define their expectation; ask themselves if their expectation is realistic; and if SPDC is the government.People should express their grievances in a way that follows due process to avoid sending the wrong signal to potential investors about how businesses are treated in our society.”
Weli , however said that though the company had set aside N7b for the development of the Niger Delta, the funds are yet to be spent due to restiveness and litigation affecting the implementation of its social investment drive in the communities.
Idu Jude Abuja