Oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has commissioned no fewer than 17 projects worth N221 Million, under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in communities in Etche local government area of Rivers State.
The benefiting communities, which are under the Etche One Cluster Development Foundation (EOCDF) in Igbo are Ikwerre-Ngwo, Umuoke, Ozuguru, Umuotube, Umuona, Imeh, Okoche and Umuochasi.
Speaking at the inauguration of the programmes and projects at Community Secondary School, Igbo-Etche, SPDC General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, said the Etche One Cluster has become a reference point for how successful GMoU programme can impact positively on the lives of the people.
Weli, who was represented by the Manager, External Relations, Dr Chibuzo Anyim, listed some of the programmes and projects to include the construction of two units of one-bedroom flat, installation of 2 KVA transformer, among others.
He said The Etche One Cluster has come to be a reference point for how a successful GMoU programme can positively impact the lives of the people. The results are proof points if the foresight behind the conception of the GMoU model for project delivery to our host communities.
A total of 17 projects, including the construction of two units of one-bedroom flat at Ikwerre-Ngwo Mini Estate, the installation of two 500 KVA transformers at Umuoke and Ozuguru, all in Ikwerre-Ngwo community, installation of two 500 KVA transformers at Umuotube and Umuona in Chokota community.
Installation of 500 KVA transformer at Imeh and Okoche communities, respectively, construction of perimeter fence, solar-powered lighting/ neighbourhood water system and construction of four units of one-bedroom flat Corpers Lodge at Community Secondary School, Igbo-Etche, amongst others.
“Eight out of the nine benefitting communities of these projects and programmes are reaping the rewards for supporting our business to thrive, with the trickle-down result of enabling us to create economic values for them through GMoU programme. This is why I reiterate that our ability to do more is directly tied to the freedom you give us to operate in your midst” he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, EOCDF Chairman, Stanley Amaechi, said of all the communities in the cluster, only Umuebulu has not benefited from projects and programmes of SPDC due to litigation.
Amaechi said, “As we all know, the cluster comprises of nine communities under the GMoU arrangement; all these constituent communities have experienced great dividends of the GMoU since the inception of phase two except Umuebulu community which had litigation.
“It is worthy of note that the positive impacts of the GMoU cannot be overemphasized as being witnessed today where six programmes and eleven completed projects amounting to a total sum of N221,084,897:00 are being commissioned.
“This is notwithstanding other projects are progressing and are at various stages of implementation across the constituent communities of the cluster”
At the same vein, Hon Obinna Anyanwu, the executive chairman of Etche Local Govt Area while performing the commissioning of the ultra-modern corpers’ lodge built by SPDC through Etche 1 cluster development foundation at community secondary school Igbo Etche, commended SPDC for their developmental strides in The area.
The buildings which will serve as corpers’ lodge for NYSC members serving at Igbo Etche, also excited with the security architecture which paved way for the completion of the projects and described the projects as worth celebrating.
The chairman also in his magnanimity and his way of promoting education in the area promised to commence the rehabilitation of the remaining buildings in the school to enhance conducive learning for the students.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of chieftaincy and community affairs, Mr Felix Odungweru commended Shell and Igbo community for peaceful coexistence and understanding between them, said as a government, they will do their parts so far as community development is concerned.
In another development, the NYSC director in Etche Local Govt Area, Mr Andrew Ajayi, thanked Shell for the the corpers’ lodge and asked them to extend the gesture to other secondary schools in all their host communities and urged the local government chairman to emulate his counterparts from Akuku-Toru and Asari-Toru LGAs for building befitting corpers’ lodge in their various Local Govt Areas.
He also noted that Shell and government should as a matter of urgency provide chairs and desks for the students at community secondary school Igbo Etche to enable the students to learn and complete the roofing of the remaining classroom blocks.