The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), has said that it paid $17.8billion (about N6.412trillion) in taxes, royalties and levies to the Federal Government between 2014 and 2018, in addition to $2billion (about N375.16billion) contributed by SPDC JV and SNEPCo and its co-venturers to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) since 2002.
Making these revelations while presenting 2019 Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes to journalists in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Shell’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli said, “The success of the GMoU initiative has proved what could be achieved when government, international oil companies, communities and NGOs work together for the common good”.
Weli listed some other flagship social investments in Rivers to include the Community Health Insurance Scheme launched in 2010, robust health interventions in 10 other hospitals in the state, the first centre of excellence in Marine Engineering and Offshore Technology at Rivers State University, scholarship schemes at various levels of education, and the LiveWIRE programme which has trained and empowered 460 young men and women across the state between 2013 and 2018.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has also spent N17billion projects in communities under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in Rivers State in the last 13 years.
The projects cover health, education, water and power supply improvement, sanitation and infrastructure development in 19 clusters, out of 39 active GMoU clusters where $239million (about N44.36billion) have been expended on projects in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Abia states since 2006.
“In 2018, 100 Ogoni youths from communities near the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) participated in training with 80 top performing trainees receiving business start-up funding totaling more than $90,000 (N27.27million)”, Weli said, adding that, “To date, the LiveWIRE programme has trained 7,072 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and provided business start-up grants to 3,817.
“We are proud of our extensive social investment footprints in Rivers State, which in some cases even stretch beyond the SPDC joint venture”, Weli noted.
The general manager further gave insight into the downside of the company’s operations in certain flashpoints in the state, including the Kalabari and Ogoni areas, where huge revenues, regrettably have been lost over the last couple of years.
Responding to questions on the more than 22 months’ standoff with host communities of Belema/Offoin-Ama in Kula Kingdom over the takeover of Belema Flow Station in Akuku-Toru LGA in Rivers State, Weli regretted that well over $7million (approximately N252billion) has been lost to the stalemate in protests against SPDC’s about 37 years operations in the area where 25,000 barrels per day of crude oil have been shut in at the Belema facility.
But The Tide investigations reveal that with 25,000bpd oil shut in since August 11, 2017 by restive protesters, claiming lack of potable water, good roads, health facilities, scholarships and employment, among others, about $1.170billion revenue on the more than 18million barrels of oil (at estimated $65 per barrel), have been lost to the lockdown.
Disclosing that the Federal Government has since December, last year, renewed SPDC’s operating licence for OPM 25, including Belema and Offoin-Ama communities, for the next 25 years, he said that the company was open to further dialogue with the communities under the Kula Project Implementation and Monitoring Committee (PIMC) with a view to resolving issues in dispute in the area.
“SPDC will only resume operations at the facility when it is safe to do so. Our primary goal is the safe and peaceful resolution of this dispute, and we encourage all parties to return to dialogue to protect the safety and security of all concerned, including those occupying the facility, community members, SPDC staff and contractors”, he said.
On allegations of undercover attempts to resume oil production in Ogoni, Weli made it categorically clear that SPDC has no plan to return to the area under any guise now or in future, stressing that already, the Federal Government had since 2012, granted operatorship licence for OPM 11 covering Ogoni oilfields to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) subsidiary, National Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
While clarifying that SPDC’s presence in Ogoni was tied to the TNP which conveys crude oil from other parts of Rivers and Abia states through Eleme, Tai, Gokana and Khana to Bonny Export Terminal, Weli explained that it was for this reason that the company was implementing social investment programmes for the benefit of Ogoni people.
He further explained that SPDC staff and contractors’ presence in the area was mainly in line with efforts to guarantee the integrity of the TNP through routine maintenance and occasional replacement to avoid equipment failure, insisting that SPDC flow stations were vandalized and flowlines excavated by Ogonis during the crisis while surviving wellheads had been decommissioned, just as he restated that the company has not drilled/produced one litre of crude oil from Ogoni since 1993 when it shut down operations in the area.
The Tide investigations show that before cessation of oil production, there were 12 oilfields in Ogoni, where SPDC had drilled 116 wells, out of which 89 were completed, and channeled to five flow stations, which processed 185,000 barrels per day overall production capacity.
Meanwhile, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) says it remitted about N4.26trillion to the national coffers between 2014 and 2018.
General Manager, External Relations of SPDC, Igo Weli, gave the figures while delivering a paper on “Improving Stakeholders’ Engagement in Rights of Way Acquisition”, organised by International Rights of Way Association (IRWA) Chapter 84 at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
Weli further disclosed that oil revenue accounts for 70 per cent of Nigeria’s budget funding, while 90 per cent of total revenue also comes from oil.
It is against this backdrop that he sued for more constructive engagements to fast-track development in the sector, as he lamented the recent upsurge in hostilities to oil operations.
“In Niger Delta, Nigeria needs more constructive engagements than violence and killings”, Weli remarked.
He stressed that more stakeholders’ engagement would reduce hostilities and strengthen investors’ confidence in the economy, as he warned that the growing belligerence may further worsen the economy in the coming years.
On how to curb hiccups in rights of way acquisition, the Shell general manager drew attention to the need for adequate compensation and land owners’ engagement.
He said, “It takes all parties to create value… There is need for a sustained stakeholders’ engagement which is critical for rights of way acquisition”.
Nelson Chukwudi & Kevin Nengia
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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