Sunday Okobi
ExxonMobil affiliate, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Mobil Producing Nigeria Joint Venture, has announced plans to invest N13 billion ($43 million) in three community health, economic empowerment and education projects in Akwa Ibom State in the next 18 months.

These investments, according to the oil giant, amount to one of the largest community investments by any company in Nigeria.
The three projects, ExxonMobil stated, include a technical skills centre in Ikot Akata; a trauma centre at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and an engineering complex at the University of Uyo.

The Chairman and Managing Director of Mobil Producing Nigeria, Paul McGrath, in a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, said: “These investments will provide long-term health, education and economic benefits to many in our communities.
“We continue to work closely with the Akwa Ibom State government as part of our commitment to communities where we operate and help to improve quality of life.”

The statement also noted that at a ceremony held at Ikot Akata in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, the Group General Manager of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), represented by Hilary Akpan, said the choice of the projects came after effective community engagement and consultation for viable impact.

Meanwhile, the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel, who did the official ground-breaking ceremony and inspected models of the proposed community assistance projects, expressed his administrations readiness to provide all necessary support and an enabling environment for successful completion of the projects.

ExxonMobil stated that the technical skills centre would consist of a three-block training complex for critical skills required in oil and gas careers, such as pipeline fabrication, welding, electrical works, chemical lab works, civil works and engineering design. The centre is expected to train more than one hundred students annually, it stated.

The trauma centre, accordingly, which is to be housed in a two-floor medical complex, will help reduce mortality rates in major medical emergencies.

“The centre will include a resuscitation and burns room; a theatre suite; helipad; ambulance bay and triage area; high dependency and radiology units; mini labs; wards; pharmacy; administrative offices; library; and doctor, call and seminar rooms.

“The engineering complex, which will be equipped with generators and independent water supply, will feature two floors of workshops, laboratories, a lecture theater, conference rooms and