Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL) says it has been a tough time for the oil and gas industry globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It, however, hinted that in spite of the global upheaval, it has contributed no less than N7 billion to the Egbema and Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF) since its creation in 2005.
General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA) of CNL, Mr Esimaje Brikinn, disclosed these, on Tuesday, during the 10th Annual General Meeting of EGCDF at Effurun, near Warri, Delta State.
Brikinn, who was represented by Mr Sam Daibo, Area Manager, Field Operations, said that CNL was committed to the terms of the Global Memorandum of Understandings (GMoU) between it and the Foundation.
He noted that the benefits of the GMoU could only be sustained in an atmosphere of peace that was conducive for business activities and implore the people to embrace dialogue in resolving issues.
“Since its inception in 2005, the NNPC/ Chevron Joint Venture has contributed over N7 billion to the EGCDF.
“Successive Regional Development Committee (RDC) leadership used the fund for implementing various infrastructural and non-infrastructural projects.
“Chevron will continue to provide support to ensure that we achieved sustainable development for the people.
“This is a tough time for the Oil and Gas industry globally. Nevertheless, Chevron takes its role as a corporate citizen in Nigeria seriously and remain active in many projects that promote health, education and economic development.
“We seek more cooperation from all stakeholders as the company takes steps to ensure the sustainability of the business in the face of the current business challenges,” he said.
Brikinn thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for creating the enabling environment for the GMoU to succeed.
He also thanked the various traditional rulers, community leaders and members of EGCDF for their hard work, dedication and support toward actualising the objectives of the GMoU.
Chairman, EGCDF, Mr Jude Ukori, in his remarks, said that despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation was able to make remarkable progress and achievements in 2020.
“Under the 2019/2020 New Project Circle, the Foundation awarded a total of 17 projects to contractors nominated by the communities after a competitively bidding process.
“Apart from our infrastructural projects which indeed have dynamically transformed the architectural outlook and aesthetics of our communities.
“The Foundation also runs chains of non-infrastructural programs designed to build the capacity of the indigenes. These programmes include scholarship, skill acquisition and micro-credit scheme,” he said.
The Delta deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr Emman Amgbaduba, urged the people to continue to embrace peace and dialogue.
“When the issue is beyond you, you can meet the government and we will intervene,” he pleaded.
The 10th Annual General Meeting of EGCDF witnessed representatives of the traditional rulers of Gbaramatu and Egbema kingdoms, religious leaders and sons and daughters of Ijaw, among others.