Victor Efeizomor in Asaba
As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) to its host communities, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) at the weekend in Warri, donated 20 motorised wheelchair and clutches to the physically-challenged persons in Delta State
The American oil giant also donated N20 million to the Joint National Association of Persons with Disability, Delta State chapter, to assist it in the training programmes for its members.
Presenting the items and cheque at the Chevron Dockyard premises in Warri, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affair (PGPA), Mr. Deji Haastrup, said the items would go a long way in assisting the physically challenged in their daily lives.
Represented by Manager, West, PGPA, Mr. Tunji Idowu, he charged them to make judicious use of the donated items, promising to always support them whenever the need arose. He disclosed that the gesture was part of Chevron’s CSR plans and charged them to maintain same.
Haastrup, who also signed a renewal of commitment on the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with the leadership of the Ilaje communities, said it is aimed at building partnership for sustainable development and improve the livelihoods of people living in the host community.
He said the NNPC/Chevron joint venture has supported the Ilaje communities with about N700 million on developmental projects ranging from the construction of blocks of classrooms, building of town hall and blocks of flats as well as building of walkways, implementation of water programmes and human capital development, and economic empowerment schemes
President of the association, Mr. Eyefiujirin Ishmael, while receiving the items on behalf of the physically-challenged, commended Chevron for the gesture and tasked other oil multinationals to emulate the firm.
He appealed to Chevron and indeed, all employers of labour to always set aside at least five per cent of job slots for the physically-challenged, noting that it was most disheartening that companies deliberately discriminated against them during recruitment, even where they were better qualified.
However, it was a hospitable atmosphere at the launching ceremony of five projects by the NNPC/Chevron JV and Itshekiri-NPA host communities
The Itsekiri-NPA development project, sponsored by the Chevron Nig Ltd NNPC Joint Venture, underscored its commitment to the values of community empowerment and development of local content.
The Escravos Gas-to-Liquids Project Community Engagement Plan with the five communities of Ugbuwangue, Ekurede Itsekiri, Okere, Ode-Itsekiri and Orugbo, Warri South LGA re-affirmed this commitment.
The five projects are the fruit of a series of engagements between host communities and the management of the EGTL project which commenced February 25, 2009 after the Warri Port became the logistic and material operations of the $6 billion Escravos Gas-to-Liquid project.
The projects include Skill Acquisition Centre, Ugbuawangue; Teachers Quarters, Ode-Itsekiri and Orugbo; Town Hall, Ekurede and Youth Civic Centre, Okere.
An enthusiastic crowd gathered to witness the epochal ceremony, including community leaders, local contractors, top government officials, women and representatives of youth groups.
EGTL JV Project Director, Mr. Geoffery Mason, recalled how in 2009 the EGTL management and the host communities, through a series of townhall meetings, agreed to mutually beneficial plans for community and the project.
According to him he said part of the success of the community engagement plan was tied to the fact that the projects were entrusted to local contractors who emerged through a bidding process.
He said the projects were designed and supervised by an architect from the communities, and added that the fabrication yard empowered local contractors providing employment opportunities for over 400 skilled and unskilled youths.
Mr. Deji Haastrup, General Manager, Policy, Government, and Public Affairs, Chevron Nig Ltd, represented by Tunji Idowu said the projects were selected and executed by the communities in line with the Project Specific Agreement (PSA).
He said the PSA was for provision specific infrastructural needs and human capital development projects such as civic centres, town hall and teachers quarters in communities.
He said the projects were identified by the communities as critical in the sustainable livelihood assessment and community development plan adopted by the communities.
The project manager, Mr. Mick Kraly, described the EGTL project as a mega project, which, when completed, would be the second biggest in the world, adding that the plant’s utilisation of emergent technology underscored its contribution to the development of local competencies