Boosting power supplies
Despite decades of oil production in the Niger Delta, many of the people who live there remain in poverty. This was at the root of the militant crisis that lasted three years to 2009. Finding ways to promote development, jobs and public services can help today’s relative stability turn into tomorrow’s prosperity. That is chiefly the responsibility of government, but SPDC has a role to play.
Major SPDC-operated projects continue to boost Nigeria’s energy supplies and its economy. The Gbaran-Ubie oil and gas project in Bayelsa State reached full daily gas production of 1 billion standard cubic feet in early 2011, and will produce 70,000 barrels of oil a day at peak production. Some of the gas helps generate much-needed electricity, with the rest going for export. The Afam VI power plant in Rivers State continued to contribute from 14 to 24% of the electricity supplied by Nigeria’s national grid.
In 2011, SPDC launched a review of its community-led social investment model, the global memorandum of understanding (). This model puts community representatives at the heart of the process that decides how to use the funds SPDC and its joint-venture partners provide for development projects. SPDC first introduced this approach in 2006. By the end of 2011, it had invested some $78 million covering 314 communities with a total population of nearly 3 million. The review looked at what was working well and what was not. One key finding was that while some communities successfully managed their own decision-making and even raised further funds independently, others found it harder. As a result SPDC has strengthened efforts to help communities develop the skills they need to make full use of the opportunities that GMoUs offer.
“Before now, I thought Shell was a selfish company that was exploiting our community. Then, when I was job hunting on the internet, I came across Shell LiveWIRE. After a very enlightening training, we were assigned mentors and given start-up capital to start our businesses. I now run an interior decorating business and house-keeping services, and employ people. Shell should create more awareness of its programmes so that more people can benefit.”Obianuju Chukwuji Joseph
Shell LiveWIRE Award winner 2011, Delta State, Nigeria