The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) says out of the over N41billion disbursed for community projects in Niger Delta, about N15billion went to Rivers State under the Global Memorandum of Understanding.
“Between 2006 and end of 2017, a total of N14.86 billion has been invested by the SPDC Joint Venture in the GMoU clusters in Rivers State, giving communities a highly-valued opportunity to decide and implement projects and programmes that have a lasting impact on people’s lives,” said the General Manager, External Relations of SPDC, Igo Weli, on Saturday in Port Harcourt at the 2018 edition of the Nigerian Society of Engineers Port Harcourt Branch Week.
Weli, who spoke on the role of oil and gas sector in the infrastructure development of Rivers State, said the SPDC JV funding enabled 19 GMoU clusters in Rivers State to embark on projects covering health, education, water and power supply improvement, sanitation and infrastructure development. He added that the success of the GMoU initiative proved what could be achieved when government, international oil companies, communities and NGOs worked together for the common good.
Under the terms of the GMoU, SPDC JV provides secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice, which are managed by Cluster Development Boards under the guidance of mentoring NGOs.
On social infrastructure, Weli listed the N1.5billion ultramodern library donated by Shell to the state government to commemorate Nigeria’s centenary celebration, and the establishment of a Community Health Insurance Scheme at Obio Cottage Hospital in Port Harcourt where the average number of patients increased from about 600 to about 7,500 per month in 2017, making it one of the most utilised health facilities in the area. He said 10 other hospitals in Rivers State also enjoyed ‘robust health intervention scheme by SPDC JV’.
In education, he cited the establishment of the first centre of excellence in Marine Engineering and Offshore Technology at Rivers State University in Port Harcourt in 2017, which has commenced programmes leading to the award of Master’s degrees in Marine Engineering (Power Plants), Naval Architecture and Offshore and Subsea Engineering. This, he said was in addition to the many SPDC JV scholarship schemes which date back to the 1950s.
On the statutory role of the oil and gas sector in infrastructure development in Niger Delta, Weli noted that each player in the sector was expected to contribute 3% of its annual budget to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the purpose of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region into an area that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful. “Between inception of NDDC in 2002 and the end of 2017, Shell companies alone contributed N338.12billion to the commission,” he said.
He noted that the responsibility for the development of communities, societies or states resides primarily with government and community stakeholders themselves. “It stands to reason therefore that abdicating that responsibility for development to the private sector either fully or substantially is, in my assessment, one of the key issues militating against sustainable development not just of Rivers State but of the Niger Delta.”
He frowned on the expectationthat private sector should take on the role of government even after fulfilling their statutory obligations to the state and investing as much as their businesses can carry in social investments in the host communities. “This is not sustainable and perhaps accounts for the steady drop or reduction in investments, hence the dwindling opportunities in employment, contracts, and so on, in the Niger Delta in the past two decades.”
Weli added: “The region is no longer very attractive to investors because of the unrealistic demand and entitlement mindset. The future of the Niger Delta is in the hands of private investors, therefore stakeholders need to re-set their expectations and approach to achieve sustainable growth and development. Investors are to be wooed and investments, attracted, not taken for granted.”
He therefore appealed for a conducive operating environment to enable the private sector do business profitably without fear so that they could implement social investment projects and programmes.
He said: “For the private sector, including the oil and gas industry to support the state for infrastructure development, the state, as a matter of policy, and the people, as a matter of dogged commitment, must resolve to make the state peaceful, friendly, attractive and competitive.”
Media Relations Manager(SHELL)
Sahara Foundation Restates Commitment To Driving Inclusive Education
Oluseyi Ojurongbe, Manager, Sahara Foundation
Lagos, Nigeria August 14, 2019 – As the world marks the 20th International Youth Day, Sahara Foundation, the vehicle for Sahara Group’s Personal and Corporate Social Responsibility (PCSR) initiatives, has reiterated its dedication to promoting inclusive education through formal and informal interventions.
Sahara Foundation promotes the implementation of projects that drive sustainable development across its locations in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Speaking on the 2019 United Nations International Youth Day 2019 themed, “Transforming Education,” Oluseyi Ojurongbe, Manager, Sahara Foundation said enhancing access to formal and informal education is critical for effective youth empowerment across the globe.
He said Sahara Foundation plans to increase the scholarships awarded to underserved communities in Nigeria as well as projects targeted at empowering social entrepreneurs in Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania and Ghana who are contributing to the sustainable development of their communities.
“We remain committed to supporting young people by creating platforms that provide an enabling environment for the development of self-sustaining initiatives with a focus on capacity building, wealth creation and preservation,” Ojurongbe said.
The International Youth Day is an awareness day designated by the United Nations to draw attention to cultural and legal issues surrounding the youth. This year’s edition is focused on making education more inclusive and accessible for all youths, including efforts by the youth themselves.
The theme stems from Goal 4 of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
Sahara Foundation has over the last 15 years undertaken various projects to enhance education across several locations where it operates.
The projects range from library upgrade, scholarship programmes for students in the north-east region of Nigeria, career counselling for teens in Singapore, to upgrade of classroom facilities in Ghana, renovation of the ICT Laboratory and donation of computers with internet access at the University of Juba, South Sudan.
Other Sahara Foundation education and youth based interventions include: Partnership with Ashesi University on the Ashesi Innovation Experience (AIX) Programme for 200 teens across Africa over the past two years; Career Guidance and vocational skills training in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire; and Construction, upgrade and refurbishment of youth vocational centers in Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and Tanzania·
Sahara Foundation through its recent partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is making significant steps to promote access to clean and affordable energy which will in-turn improve societal well- being. It is also expected that the partnership will facilitate capacity building opportunities in renewable energy for youths across Cote d’ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria.
Mondelez launches ‘Our Children’s Healthy Habits’ in Upper Egypt
CAIRO – 30 July 2019: Mondelez Egypt Foods launched on Monday “Our Children’s Healthy Habits” aimed at spreading awareness on the best healthy nutrition practices among children and parents in Upper Egypt in partnership with CARE International.
The project is worth more than LE8 million and takes place in Minya and Sohag governorates. The initiative is part of Mondelez’s CSR activities and contributions to sustainable development and positive impact on the society. Mondelez Egypt Foods has been supporting development projects in Upper Egypt for 5 years as the start was with “Wheat of Our Children” project.
Managing Director of Mondelez North Africa Bilal Sharabati stressed the company’s “belief in the importance of cooperation between the private sector, the public sector, and civil society organizations to develop the communities in which we operate and live.”
The initiative has three main goals: promotion of nutrition education and healthy habits among children and parents, encouraging physical activity- particularly among girls- and improving access to fresh food. The last goal is planned to be achieved by teaching children and parents how to cultivate fruits and vegetables at home or at school using simple methods and techniques.
The target of the first phase is to reach 1,500 children aged between 6 and 12, 1,500 housewives, and 6,500 to 10,000 individuals in their surroundings in both governorates. A number of school children and community leaders in rural areas will be trained to deliver guidance and advice on healthy nutrition habits ensuring continuity and sustainability. That phase extends between April 2018 and October 2020.
“That is in addition to the formation of teams and sports camps for children in schools and teaching them how to grow some vegetables and fruits at home or at school, which will have a great impact on building a generation that is healthy and well informed about the benefits of good nutrition habits and physical activity,” Chairman of CARE Egypt Hazem Fahmy highlighted.
Chairman of CARE Egypt Hazem Fahmy
Furthermore, healthy cooking classes will be held at schools in collaboration with NGOs so that kitchens of five schools are equipped for that purpose. The project also includes an initiative called “Wash” to promote hygiene practices while preparing food. Another initiative dubbed “Active Play” will organize summer sports camps, and the beginning is in Sohag.
“We first started a pilot phase in 2017 to ensure optimum results. The outcomes were very positive,” Mondelez Egypt Foods Corporate and Government Relations Manager Amira Farag said.
The pilot phase has resulted in the training of 33 rural leaders, and 16 household teachers in five governorates, and in building the awareness of around 1,628 women by holding sessions in the capital of each governorate on ways to combat obesity. Another outcome of the pilot phase is developing the awareness of 75 students in Minya on how to assimilate basic nutrition information and ways to combat obesity among children.
Farag explained that the project takes place within Mondelez Impact 2025 vision to positively influence the society. She added that Minya and Sohag have been chosen as they are the top governorates having an obesity issue among mothers and children. It was noted by the team that male children who do not play football in the gymnastics class do not play sports at all, and that almost all female children do not play sports so they decided to focus on them.
Mondelez Egypt Foods Corporate and Government Relations Manager Amira Farag
“Our Children’s Healthy Habits” comes in line with the nationwide campaign conducted by the Ministry of Health and Population for the early detection of obesity, anemia, and stunting among children.
As indicated by the latest statistics released by the ministry, obesity rates reached 50 percent among men, and 70 percent among women. A medical census run among 9 million children showed signs of anemia and obesity caused by malnutrition and unawareness of healthy lifestyles.
“Mondelez Foundation invests nearly $50 million in projects aimed at improving children’s healthy eating habits in 18 countries around the world. These projects have been able to enhance the eating habits of more than 1.5 million children in five different continents. That was the main stimulant that encouraged us to start implementing this project in Egypt and become part of this momentum,” Farag stated.
“We are delighted to continue to partner with Mondelez Egypt Foods, especially in light of the great success we have achieved together over the past 5 years by working on ‘Our Children’s Wheat’ project. We are looking forward to continue on the same path with our new project, ‘Our Children’s Healthy Habits’ and achieve the same successful results,” CARE Egypt’s chairman said.
The managing director of Mondelez North Africa and Mashreq clarified that the company, founded 150 years ago, has been operating in Egypt for 44 years. Mondelez Egypt Foods runs three factories in Egypt. Each is specialized in chocolate, biscuits, and gum and candy, respectively. The first two are in the 10th of Ramadan industrial city, while the third is in Alexandria’s Borg al-Arab city. Forty-five percent of those factories’ production is exported to more than 24 countries around the globe.
On the other hand, Fahmy highlights that CARE, which has been established more than 70 years ago and operating in 80 countries, has been present in Egypt since 1954. He revealed that the organization helped 80 million people in 2016/2017. Fahmy underlined that CARE Egypt has three main programs. One is on women’s rights including economic empowerment, and anti-violence initiatives; another is on agriculture and aims to empower small farmers in Upper Egypt and better connect them to the market. The last is on education.
Credit: Egypt Today
Sahara Group Reiterates Support For The Arts At Bling Lagosians Private Screening
July 22, 2019, Lagos, Nigeria: Under a tranquil ambience, leading energy conglomerate, Sahara Group hosted its staff members to a private screening of the new Bolanle Austen-Peters feature film ‘Bling Lagosians’ recently.
The film which was screened at the Terra Kulture Arena was a reflection of the company’s drive for excellence and innovation, according to its Head, Corporate Communications, Bethel Obioma.
“For us, it is all about supporting excellence, the arts, to bring about the change we need in our nation. We are supporting narratives that we build the traction that we need to cause change.”
He further stressed that “Sahara Group believes in the transforming power of the written word, photography, music, drama and other forms of art and our commitment has remained unwavering through various interventions and partnerships. Our involvement with the arts enables Sahara to keep spearheading a gold standard for corporate citizenship as the world continues to work towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
The Austen-Peters produced and directed film focuses on one of the prestigious elite families in Lagos state, The Holloways. The comedic drama mirrors the opulent lifestyle of the elites who are often caught in a web of lies, greed, envy and betrayal. The plot is multi layered with themes that address family heritage, corruption, and boldly tackled the subpar standards of most Nollywood movies.
For most part of the evening, the theatre was filled with laughter from members of the audience who could hardly sit still at the comedic acts of Alexx Ekubo, Elvina Ibru and Toyin Abraham. The film also starred first timers like Oladele Ogunlana and Winihin Jemede as well as familiar acts like Jide Kosoko, Sharon Ooja, Helen Paul, Gbenga Titiloye, Norbert Young among others.
Highly lauded as the life of the film, Ibru was greatly applauded when she came on stage to take a bow. She thanked the audience while noting that the industry needs more support from corporate organisations such as Sahara Group.
“If corporate bodies like you were not supporting us then all these kind of things will not be happening and we need that support to continue so that Nollywood can actually boast of not churning out most of the movies but also the best of the movies.”
The movie is still showing in cinemas nationwide.
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