By Edith Ike-Eboh
Total Upstream Ltd in partnership with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and three other oil firms, on Tuesday inaugurated 10 projects worth one billion naira in eight northern states.
At the ceremony in Abuja, Dr Ahmadu-Kida Musa, Deputy Managing Director, Deepwaters, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, said that the projects were executed under the company’s corporate social responsibility portfolio.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the projects were inaugurated symbolically in Abuja due to the insecurity situation in the states were they are sited.
Musa handed keys of the projects to representatives of Kogi, Borno, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Bauchi, Katina and Kwara – the benefitting states, and listed Sapetro, CNOOC and PETROBRAS as the other partners in the execution of the projects.
The projects are for water in Kogi, Sokoto, Kebbi and Kwara; maternal and child referral centres in Borno; ICT Centre in Bauchi and Sokoto; six blocks of classroom in Kogi; Science Laboratory and Mammogram Centre in Zamfara.
“These projects were borne out of the need to mitigate the gaps in qualitative and technical education, maternal and child health, access to clean water and sanitation.
“The locations of these projects were also carefully chosen to impact the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), especially in the North-East of the country.
“They are also in congruence with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) numbers 3, 4, 6 and 7,” Musa said.
He added that most of the projects were delivered with integrated solar power that was environmental friendly and cheaper to run.
He assured that NNPC, Total and the other partners would continue to intervene in the social environment of Nigeria through the deployment of various projects.
The managing director explained that construction of four units of maternal and child referral centres in the North-East was to assist women affected by insurgency in the region.
“Mammogram centres are also deployed while two have been inaugurated in Lagos and one in Anka in Zamfara, to help tackle cancer disease.
“This event is a major milestone in realising that early diagnosis of breast cancer, preventing late stage of presentation of the disease, aiding treatment and follow-up of patients was necessary,” he said.
Musa added that the construction of four solar-powered boreholes, with treatment plants, was in recognition of the importance of water to life of Nigerians.
In his remarks, Mr Musa Lawan, Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investments Management Services (NAPIMS), congratulated the benefiting states and urged them to ensure the sustainability of the projects.
“We are ready to inaugurate more projects as part of effort to support what government is doing but you must make sure that you make good use of the projects.
“The health facilities, water projects, among others, must be used effectively and monitored by those responsible to do so,” he said.
Lawal was represented by Mr Aminu Jafal, a Manager in NAPIMS.
On her part, the Public Relations and Nigeria Content Manager, Petrobras, Mrs Reg Irosoro, promised continuous support of the company to development of Nigeria.
“The wealth of a nation is determined by the health of its citizen, and that is why the projects are instituted not only as CSR but to add value to education and health care in Nigeria,’’ she said.
Responding on behalf of the benefitting states, Hajiya Alima Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Katsina State, thanked Total, NNPC and other partners for the “noble idea’’ and assured of its sustainability.
“We will do our best to put it to use for the benefit of the people. We are committed to whatever we do in Katsina.
“Choosing projects in education, water, health and ICT is very commendable; we assure you that it will be well taken care of and put to good use by the people,” she said. (NAN)