Sylvester Idowu in Warri
To address needs in the areas of education, health, and economic development, the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture has so far contributed over N5.5 billion, through its Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), to the Egbema and Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF).
General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL), Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, disclosed this at the 9th Annual General Meeting of the EGCDF in Warri, Delta State. Brikinn, who was represented at the event by the CNL’s Area Manager, Warri, Mr. Sam Daibo, said the fund spanned the inception of the GMoU in 2005 till date and acknowledged that the current leadership of the EGCDF had shown sincerity and prudence in the spending of the funds meant to develop the riverine communities.
Brikinn, urged the communities to continue to support the implementation of the GMoU process to enable them to reap more dividend from the understanding, adding that “the current leadership of the EGCDF has executed and commissioned 22 infrastructural projects since its inauguration in 2017.”
“Some of the projects include concrete jetties, concrete link roads and drains, cottage hospitals in Polobubo and Oporoza. Seven more projects spread in different EGCDF communities will be committed in the year. Since inception, we have contributed over N5.5 billion to the EGCDF which has been used judiciously through the GMoU to address community needs in the areas of education, health, and economic development.
“We constantly review the GMoU process to keep up with the stakeholders’ expectations and emerging development. This year, we embarked upon the evaluation of the GMoU process and has analysed the outcome and quality recommendation made. The GMoU now align more with the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The additional features include Operational Excellence, Creativity/Innovation, Sustainable Economic Empowerment Programme, and Small Business and Enterprise Development,” he said.
Brikinn thanked the Delta State government for creating an enabling and peaceful environment for the GMoU to thrive and also expressed gratitude to the traditional rulers, community leaders and members of the EGCDF for their support towards actualising the objectives of the GMoU.
Deputy Governor of Delta, Kingsley Otuaro, while addressing the AGM, urged the communities to create a more conducive environment to enable Chevron to operate optimally. Otuaro, who was represented by Mr. Ema Agbatuba, urged the youth to learn relevant trades, especially those provided by Chevron that would be useful and attractive to the oil companies.
“Chevron should increase its corporate social responsibility to the communities, train and empower the people. The communities should be steadfast and allow the companies to operate in line with the government’s aspiration,” he said.
Chairman of EGCDF, Mr. Jude Ukori, urged Chevron to increase its funding to the GMoU process for its survival and so that it can do more for the Ijaw communities.
“It is noteworthy to state that despite the perceived shortcomings of the GMoU process, it still stands out as the most reliable platform for the sustainable development of our communities,” he said.
Ukori said the EGCDF had inaugurated 12 projects and also awarded four, appealing for more funding to enable the body to execute more projects for the people.