Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on Saturday inaugurated water and electricity projects worth N200 million in different communities across Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State.
The General Manager, SPDC, External Relations, Mr. Igo Weli, performed the inauguration of the projects in Ukwa, which include market stalls, town hall and scholarships to undergraduates in the area.
Weli said that the inauguration of the projects was part of the SPDC’s contributions and social responsibility to develop its host communities.
He said the project was executed by the Ukwa-West Cluster Development Board under the SPDC Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) model with its host communities.
“SPDC introduced the GMoU model in 2007 with focus to place choice of development projects in the lap of beneficiaries.
“The model is also a platform for community-led social investment strategy – funded by SPDC and its joint venture partners to fast track project delivery to our host communities.
“This partnership model aims to bring sustainable development in every initiative and improve interface with communities with the focus to engender socio-economic development in communities where we operate,” he said.
Weli recalled that the GMoU model launched in 2007 had expanded to 37 active GMoU clusters spread across the Niger Delta – with Ukwa West being the only cluster in Abia.
He said the infrastructure projects and programmes were part of the company’s drive to attain key sustainable goals and economic development of its host communities.
Mr. Martins Noah, Chairman of Ukwa West Cluster Development Board, said the GMoU impacted positively on the 13 cluster-communities in the local government area.
Noah said that SPDC’s intervention in the cluster-communities had led to decline of cases of bunkering and vandalism of pipelines and wellheads in the area.
According to him, the cluster produces over 20 thousand barrels of crude oil per day.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum in Abia, Mr. Anthony Ojinji, commended SPDC for the GMoU with the host communities.
“The Abia State Government suggested that SPDC should capture more communities hosting oil facilities in the next GMoU expected to take off in 2018,” he said.