Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo has applauded the Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC) policy on the patronage of indigenous contractors for project execution.
A statement issued by SPDC’s Media Relations Manager, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, on Tuesday in Yenoga, quoted the governor as commending Shell for its commitment to human capital and infrastructural developments in the communities hosting the Assa North Gas Development Project.
The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Environment, Dr Ikay Njoku, spoke at a ceremony organised by SPDC’s Cluster Development Board (CDB) where cheques were presented to community contractors.
The cheques, worth N360 million, were for the completion of social investment projects designed to benefit the people of the host communities.
Uzodimma, according to the statement, endorsed the employment of community contractors.
“I commend the Assa North and Ohaji Egbema Cluster Development Boards, as well as their community contractors for doing good jobs so far.
“The Imo State Government will continue to monitor project execution to ensure that contractors do not lower the quality and standard of the jobs. We will have zero tolerance for corruption,” he said.
Chairman of Assa North CDB, Mr Godswill Uzomba Uho, and his Ohaji/Egbema CDB counterpart, Mr Casmir Ekeruo, pledged to “continue to monitor the community contractors to ensure that the right standards were maintained”.
SPDC’s External Relations Manager, Projects and Opportunities, Dr Banji Adekoya, emphasised “SPDC’s commitment to supporting projects that increase the capacity of our communities to deliver credible projects.”
Adekoya was represented by SPDC’s Community Interface and Social Performance Adviser, Mr Victor Alimele.
He said “The gas development project in Imo State is one of the priority projects of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Its development will help the government deliver on its ambition to provide enough gas for domestic consumption, power generation and gas-based ammonia and urea fertilizers for farmers.
“The Assa North Gas Development Project will be a major game-changer in our country’s quest for energy sufficiency and economic growth and, once again, it emphasizes Shell’s unshaken commitment to Nigeria, both now and in the future.
“The project has the potential to be one of the largest domestic gas projects in the country when completed.
“When completed, the Assa North Gas project will produce 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mscf/d) from its upstream facilities and process 300mscf/d from the SPDC gas facility under construction to boost domestic gas supply for power generation and general industrialization.
“To benefit the local communities, SPDC has a deliberate Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the projects’ operations to create vast opportunities for Nigerian firms.”
The firms, according to him, will include engineering, procurement and construction contracts; immense employment and sub-contracting opportunities for workers and local contractors in the project area.
Others are opportunities for capacity development initiatives, knowledge transfer and human capital development.
CDB implements SPDC’s Global Memorandum of Understanding for delivering sustainable development projects in the host communities. (NAN)