SPDC Inaugurates Oloibiri Health Centre, to Commemorate Oil Discovery in Bayelsa

Olusegun Samuel

As part of the activities lined up to commemorate the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in Oloibiri, Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa State in 1956, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) yesterday inaugurated the Oloibiri Health Centre.
Crude Oil was first discovered in commercial quantity at Oloibiri community in 1956, after half a century of exploration by Shell-BP.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of SPDC, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, said Oloibiri community occupied a pride of place in the history of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, which, he said, necessitated the conception of Oloibiri Health Programme (OHP).
He said the Oloibiri Health Programme (OHP) depicts a deliberate suites of health projects that aim to achieve three broad objectives.
Okunbor said: “It was in Oloibiri that Shell made the nation’s first commercial quantity discovery of crude oil in 1956.
“That discovery is what has positioned Nigeria as a key player, providing energy to the world, wealth to the country and abundant opportunities to the Nigerian people.
“The relationship between SPDC and Bayelsa since that discovery has grown with the expected footprints of our operations and social investments spread across the state.
“Amidst this growth, Oloibiri remains the reference point for Nigeria’s oil and gas journey.
“It is in this light that the Shell group, as part of marking Nigeria’s centenary celebrations in 2014, conceived and began the implementation of the OHP to serve as a reference point in Nigeria for sustainable Primary Health Care delivery.”
He said the Oloibiri Health Programme is a multi-phased programme with several stakeholders as partners.
The partners include the Bayelsa Ministry of Health, the Ogbia Local Government, Federal University Otuoke, amongst others.
In his remark at the occasion, the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, applauded the intervention by SPDC, saying it complemented efforts of his administration in the health sector.
While thanking the oil giant for the gesture, the governor urged other oil firms operating in the state to emulate the company and reciprocate such in other senatorial districts.
He urged Oloibiri people to take the health centre seriously and ensure that they put it to use for the betterment of humanity.
“Let me appreciate SPDC and its partners for also prioritising healthcare in the state by initiating the OHP.
“This is a laudable development because it will go a long way in complementing the various steps and policies we have introduced to meet the health needs of our citizens in Ogbia local government area,” he said.
Also, King Charles Owaba, the Paramount Ruler of Ogbia Kingdom, urged SPDC to step up its efforts to ameliorate the adverse impact of oil exploration on the environment and people of the area.
Represented by Mr. Ibiroma Ikuli, the traditional ruler said Ogbia kingdom deserves the best from shell and Bayelsa government as the first place oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in 1956.

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