The Oasis Reporters
August 15, 2017
Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has stated that the company does not have the resources to solve world hunger and despite carrying out social responsibility duties for partner communities, the statutory responsibility rests with the government to build communities.
This was stated in Port Harcourt on Monday by Igo Well, General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, in reaction to the shut down of SPDC flow station and gas plant in Belema community by angry youths who accused the company of neglecting their community.
Well insists that Shell has added value to Nigeria’s growth in several ways.
He revealed that the company remitted $29.8 billion to the federation account and $1.2 billion to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) between 2002 and 2016 adding that the company had also set aside three percent of it’s annual budget to NDDC as it’s contribution to the development of the Niger Delta.
Well said the seizure of the company’s facilities by the youths would send the wrong signal to the international community and was capable of discouraging further investment in the Niger Delta.
He described the 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.”
“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.
“SPDC has made several efforts to sensitize 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.
“Between 2012 and 2016, SPDC JV contributed $29.8 billion to the federation account which flows down to the state governments, local governments and to 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.
“In 2016 alone, our contribution to NDDC was 106.8 million 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.”
Well added that the company had set aside N7 billion for the development of the Niger Delta, but explained that the funds are yet to be spent due to restiveness and litigations affecting the implementation of its social investment drive in the communities.
Host Communities do suffer grave degradation of their environment and Oil companies are often accused of using low grade methods to extract crude oil, and most times ignore employing indigenous people into their workforce.
Oil companies on the other hand accuse community youths of bursting pipelines in other to claim damages.