SPDC, IMHA Committee Closes Gap On Community’s Social Responsibility

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🟢As Host Communities Charges Dr Osuoha’s Led Committee To Switch To Work As A Matter Of Urgency

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The management of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has met with the committee on ISOPADEC/OIL and GAS, Imo House of Assembly to close rank on terms agreeable with the host Communities.

The interface was part of its oversight functions of the Imo State House Of Assembly Committee on ISOPADEC/ OIL AND GAS headed by Hon. Dr. Uzoma Francis Osuoha.

Our correspondent reports that the meeting with the Management of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, was to ascertain the level of progress it has made in giving back to the host communities in Imo state, vis-a-vis, the Social Responsibility.

The SPDC Management led by Nwosu Ucheoma (Deputy PM ANOH) and Hope Nuka (CR manager projects) briefed the House Committee on how far the company has gone in giving back to the host communities in the State, which included the following :

  1. The company has operated for 2 million hours and no record of injuries from the workers and the communities.
  2. The company has mobilized ZEROCK and RICON Construction companies to move to site for reconstruction of UMUAPU, IHIE, OBITTI AND ASSA roads, which is 20 km and the duration for completion is 22 months.
  3. Heath Care : the company has started the construction of the hospital in Assa Autonomous community and work is in progress, and duration for completion is 18 months
  4. Construction of Obile, Assa, Awarra and Ochia link roads to commence soon. Despite challenges of insecurity that led to loss of lives, the company is using local contractors for the project.
  5. Enterprise Development Centre at Assa autonomous community, site have been secured and work will commence soon.
  6. Transit Community projects : the company mentioned many projects from different communities in Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and Owerri West (Avu).
  7. Electrification : Free images of energy consumption project to commence in Obile, Assa, Awarra and Ochia autonomous communities and the duration for completion is 9 months and local contractors are to be used for the project.
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Thereafter, Hon. Dr. Uzoma Francis Osuoha (Eze Buguma), House Committee Chairman On ISOPADEC/OIL And Gas asked the Shell Management the following questions.

  1. What are the limitations that probably will delay completion?
  2. How many graduates have been sponsored from the host communities by SPDC?
  3. Why did SPDC not have Community Liaison Officer from the host communities?
  4. How many people did SPDC train in professional skills from the host communities?
  5. How many indigenous workers from the host communities are working with SPDC?
  6. How many scholarship slots did SPDC give to host communities?
  7. What is stopping SPDC to inaugurate PIA Committee for Awarra autonomous community ?
  8. Security: in recent times, fire outbreaks have been experienced, due to bunkering activities, and lives and properties lost : who are the people in charge of your surveillance and what are they doing to arrest the situation?

Responding to the Committee, the Spokesperson of the SPDC Management responded accordingly :

  1. The issue of road reconstruction from Umuapu, Ihie, Obitti and Assa people are building where they are not supposed to build in order to be compensated forgetting that we have the map of the road, that the government should come in to arrest the situation.
  2. SPDC has sponsored over 40 graduates from the host communities.
  3. SPDC has Community Liaison Officers, CLO. Where we don’t have, the community nominates.
  4. SPDC has sponsored 1,500 persons on professional skills from the host communities.
  5. We don’t give job opportunities to host communities, we make it open for Nigerians.
  6. We give scholarship to host communities annually. 3 slots for each community.
  7. We are expecting Awarra to do the correction we asked them to do and get back to us for us to do the needful..
  8. We are using people from the host communities for surveillance. In our next meeting, we will make the information available.
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Hon. Engr. Gilbert Nwosu Member representing Oguta State Constituency and his Vice further urged SPDC update the Committee on their activities to enable both parties to work as a team.

He appealed to the SPDC to extend the road project to Etekwuru roundabout to reduce the suffering of the indigenous people, insisting that anybody that suffers in the midst of plenty, is expected to be happy in Ohaji/Egbema, for a peaceful and conducive environment to enable business to flourish.

Honourable Members present during the interface included Hon. Engr. Gilbert Nwosu, Member Representing Oguta State Constituency. Hon. Dr. Henry Agbasonu, Member Representing Ezinihitte Mbaise State Constituency. Hon. Kelechi Ofurum, Member Representing Owerri North State Constituency and Hon. Engr Uche Francis Agabige, member representing Orsu State Constituency IMHA.

Closing, Chairman of the committee Hon. Dr. Uzoma Francis Osuoha (Eze Buguma) assured the Management of SPDC that the Imo State Government will provide all the necessary support in making sure the projects are completed in record time.

Recall that in recent time, SPDC host communities alongside other oil and gas companies working in these areas revisited their terms of social responsibilities which Included, electricity, health-care, schools, good roads and employment but regrettedly some of these simple terms are being overlooked by the companies.

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It is important for the communities to benefit from the services of SPDC and not to regret engaging such companies to work in the communities coupled with the high rates of damages done to the soil.

Communities have also told SPDC to speed up actions to pay off the remaining compensations and rights to the host land owners whose landed properties were included in the deal. “The discussions should not end up as a jamboree or wasted effort drake over on the altar of red carpet reception while calling on Hon. Dr. Uzoma Francis Osuoha’s team to act as demanded.

-Princely Onyenwe reporting

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About Princely Onyenwe 2448 Articles
Princely Onyenwe A seasoned Investigative Journalist, Civil Rights Activist, and Political Analyst, Currently Editor and News reporter with 9News Nigeria www.9newsng.com www.facebook.com/9newsng