By Anthony Isibor.
DESPITE the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020, which crippled economic activities globally, some organizations still remembered to perform their social responsibilities in the communities where they operate. One of such companies is Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, which recognizes that business success is linked to society’s progress.
Working with the communities, governments, and other partners to support strategic social investments in health, education, economic development, and other focus areas such as the environment and sports development, Chevron Nigeria, empowered people in communities close to its operations and across Nigeria by improving their livelihoods and enhancing their capacity to achieve their aspirations and meet their full potentials.
The company has spent more than $500 million in social investment contributions in Nigeria since 2005 in economic development, health, education, and peacebuilding, and has directly benefited nearly 1.6 million Nigerians.
The company has also funded several initiatives to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
One of the initiatives was its support for an industry-wide coalition under which the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture made in-kind contributions for a value of $3.2 million to the Federal Government initiative and strategy to fight the pandemic. The initiative covered for the provision of medical consumables including personal protective equipment; deployment of ambulances and in-patient support systems; and delivery of medical infrastructure, equipment, and other items such as ventilators and diagnostic equipment.
Through its community-led participatory partnership model for community development, CNL, in partnership with the leadership of the communities neighboring its areas of operations in the Niger-Delta region, donated funds to support emergency food needs and medical services in the communities.
CNL donated a complete set of Polymerase Chain Reaction, PCR, equipment to Warri Central Hospital in Delta State, one of the States where it has operations in the Niger-Delta, to enhance testing and diagnosis of COVID-19.
It also donated other items including test kits, medical consumables, air conditioners, refrigerators, a 50-KVA soundproof generating set and coaster buses for contact-tracing efforts and renovated a four-room laboratory building provided by the Delta State government.
CNL, similarly, donated ten 32-seater coaster buses to the Ondo, Delta, and Lagos States governments to aid contact-tracing efforts in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, PIND, a non-profit organization funded by Chevron Corporation through the U.S- based Niger Delta Partnership Initiative, NDPI, also contributed to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. PIND developed and managed a web-based “PIND Niger Delta COVID-19 Update Center” for dissemination of accurate information regarding COVID-19 in Nigeria. This initiative was commended by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC.
Medical facilities previously donated by CNL, Star Deepwater Petroleum Limited (Star Deepwater), a Chevron company, and the parties to the Agbami Unit Agreement, were used extensively by the Nigerian government in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the medical facilities include a DNA laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital; Mother and Child Care Centre.
The 2020 Corporate Responsibility report focuses on the highpoints of the successes CNL recorded during the period in review as well as the socioeconomic impact of the strategic social investments in the communities close to its operations and Nigeria as a whole.
According to the companies 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility report, under the Chevron Nigeria deepwater community engagement, DWCE, a programme designed to positively impact community stakeholders, and executed by Star Deepwater Nigeria Limited, a Chevron company, and other parties in the Agbami Field, can be found in different parts of the country.
In 2020 alone, CNL trained nine PIND Business services providers and supported about 3,897 MSMEs in accessing a total of N3.3billion from the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending NISRAL Micro-Finance Bank (MFB).
During this period, it generated opportunities for market development, poverty reduction, and employment generation activities through initiatives such as Market Systems Development, MSD, Access to Energy, and Skills Development for Youth Employment.
These resulted in a N10.02 billion investment by entrepreneurs to implement good agricultural practices, technological innovations, purchase inputs and other capital expenditures.
Chevron Nigeria under its DWCE SI programme, and in collaboration with other partners, completed and handed over projects to State governments in 2020. They include Mother and Child Care Center at Bayelsa Medical University, Bayelsa; Mother and Child Referral Center at Government General Hospital, Biu, Borno State; Mother and Child Care Center at 1000 Housing Estate Clinic, Maiduguri, Borno State; Mother and Child Care Center at Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka, Anambra state, and Mother and Child Care Center at Fufore Cottage Hospital, Adamawa State education; Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, together with other parties in the Agbami Field has spent over N8.7 billion in the Agbami Medical and Engineering Professionals Scholarship, AMEPS, programme since its inception in 2008.
The scheme, which has benefitted 16,547 undergraduate Nigerian students from all states of the country, has produced 851 First Class graduates to date. Despite pandemic-related challenges in 2020, all existing beneficiaries received their grants, according to the report.
Other initiatives are the MCC in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, which was converted to COVID-19 holding facility; and a chest clinic in Ibadan – donated to Oyo State government, which was upgraded by the government for use as an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients.
Also, a medical diagnostic laboratory donated to the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa state, was also very useful in the area. Strategic Chevron Social Investment and special intervention to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 through the donation of medical equipment, food, and other relief materials to federal and state governments and targeted communities around Chevron’s operational areas, in collaboration with the Regional Development Committees. Successful engagement of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, PTF, and the Nigerian Customs for waivers of duties on medical equipment and material imported by CNL for donations and internal use in the management of the pandemic.
It also engaged in the construction of several model classroom blocks and hostels in Borno State, for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through its Deepwater Community Engagement Social Investment, DWCE SI program, as interventions in the areas of health and education in 2020.
On education, the CNL partnered the NNPC in a merit-based Joint Venture national university scholarship awards in specific fields of study. The annual scholarship is designed to support university undergraduates in all States of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. In 2020 a total sum of N97.2 million was paid to 972 beneficiaries.
Another achievement recorded in education is the community scholarship awards designed to caters for students in both secondary and tertiary institutions from communities in Chevron’s areas of operations, particularly for GMoU and Non-GMoU communities.
While scholarships for the GMoU communities are fully administered by the Regional Development Committees, RDCs with over N250 million allocated annually to the RDCs as bursaries and administrative cost since 2009, the non-GMoU communities, awards are granted yearly through nominations submitted to CNL from the communities’ representatives and has gulped, a total of N29.28 million in 2020.
CNL also engages in scholarship programs to ensure support for inclusive and equitable quality education in Nigeria. From 2013 till date, 4,150 scholarships for the blind/visually impaired and non- GMoU have been awarded to students in secondary and tertiary institutions by the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture.
During the period under review, 468 new scholarships were awarded, and the 1,725 existing beneficiaries paid to 684 existing beneficiaries in both secondary and tertiary institutions. It also engaged in Scholarship for the blind/ visually-impaired through the NNPC/CNL JV scholarship for the blind/visually impaired which was designed to enhance access to quality education by visually impaired students specifically, in all states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
In 2020, a sum of N10.35 million was paid to beneficiaries as Chevron sustained its support for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, STEM, by supporting the South Africa-based African Leadership Academy, ALA, Summer Engineering Academy, SEA, in which 15 Nigerian scholars participated.
SEA is part of the “AfriSTEM” programme designed by Chevron and ALA for highly motivated and talented 16 to 19-year-old high school students selected from over 45 participants drawn from more than 20 schools in Africa, all of whom are interested in a career in STEM. The programme is consistent with Chevron’s commitment to partnerships for community and national development, and support to students to explore a career in STEM. From the time the GMoU was signed in 2005 up until 2020, the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture has contributed billions of Naira to the RDCs through the GMoU process.
CNL’s spending on GMoU projects and activities in 2020 is over 2.1 billion naira, NGN2,157,287,321.96, as stated in the report.
In addition, some education projects were completed and handed over to four state governments in 2020 to assist the governments provide quality education to Nigerians and they include: Model Classroom Block at Niger Delta University, NDU, Amassoma, Bayelsa State; Science Laboratory at Senior Science College, Ndon Eyo, Akwa Ibom State; Science Laboratory at Women Teachers College, Maiduguri, Borno State; and Town Hall in Onne FTZ, Rivers State, for various learning, civic and cultural activities.
As part of its commitment to care for the environment, CNL continued its support to the Lekki Conservation Centre, LCC, which is managed by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF.
The NCF is the premier Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, dedicated to nature conservation and sustainable development in Nigeria. The LCC is a 78-hectare dedicated natural landmass on the Lekki Peninsula, which serves as a sanctuary, preserving and protecting the natural flora and fauna within its enclave.
The LCC’s activities and programmes further promote sound environmental practices and offer education, research and tourism opportunities to thousands of visitors and partners annually. The conservation center is the only one of its kind in Lagos State. CNL continues to meet its financial support commitments to the NCF to ensure the sustainability of the LCC.
In 2005, CNL pioneered a new and unique approach to community engagement in the Niger Delta to expand local participation in the social and economic development of people living near our operations.
Through this model called the Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMOU, communities have a greater role in managing their own development through Regional Development Committees. The objective is to bring peace, sustainable development, and stability.
The GMOU process has benefited approximately 600,000 people in more than 400 communities, villages, and chiefdoms where over 700 community projects have been completed.
Projects provided include scholarships, new schools, medical facilities and housing, developments in agriculture, and improvements in infrastructure.
57 Health Programmes/Projects, 55 Water Projects, 28,816 Scholarship Beneficiaries completed, 30 Education Infrastructure, 313 Housing Projects, 22 Public Restroom Projects, 67 Electricity Projects, 156 Transportation Projects, 40 Other Community Support Projects, and 27 Economic Development Programmes.
The 2020 Social Responsibility report also captures CNL’s achievements in sports, and other physical activities intended to ensure harmonious community living, physical fitness, health promotion and occupational hygiene.
The reports also notes that during the year in view, operations and activities were dominated by concerns for safe operations in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic and also concerns around oil industry reforms aimed at creating an environment that supports future business and new investments. Some of the key accomplishments related to the mitigation of the risks imposed by the pandemic on operations and attainment of business objectives include bilateral engagement between Chevron’s Middle East, Africa, South America, MEASA, President and NNPC team led by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC in Houston; advocacy with key government and legislative officials for industry reforms and legislation towards a competitive oil industry; facilitation of advocacy engagements for oil industry leaders with the Speaker, House of Representatives and House Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Ad-Hoc Committee members for competitive fiscal terms in the oil industry reform bill; Sustained engagement with the Federal Government’s oil and gas leaders for competitive and investment-supportive policies in respect of the new Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, Production Sharing Contracts, divestments from field assets, and other related fiscal/commercial terms; successful engagement of regional governments in our areas of operation including Delta, Ondo and Bayelsa state governments to resolve emerging issues, thereby sustaining the social licence to operate in the region.
All these must have prompted Rick Kennedy, managing director of CNL, to state that the company has once again been able to deliver on its social responsibilities irrespective of the corona-virus pandemic that disrupted economic activities for the most part of 2020.
In his message on the 2020 Chevron Nigeria Limited Corporate Social Responsibility report, which was made available to Realnews on Tuesday, September 7, Kennedy said: “we remained focused on delivering that vision in an ethical, responsible, and sustainable way, despite the downturn in the global economy and significant challenges in the oil and gas industry because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020”.
Said he: “Chevron companies in Nigeria work with government, communities across the country, and other partners to support strategic social investments in health, education, economic development, and other areas such as the environment and sports development that align with our thematic focus”.
According to him, “Chevron companies in Nigeria integrated the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in delivering sustainable performance in the country by protecting the environment, empowering our people, and getting results the right way – The Chevron Way.”
Realnews reports that Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL is one of the largest oil and natural gas producers in Nigeria. With its joint venture partner, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, CNL is a significant industry investor and plays a key role in Nigeria’s economy, positively contributing to the social welfare of the people and creating opportunities for progress in communities close to its operations and across Nigeria.
As one of the largest oil producers and investors in Nigeria, chevron has been making significant investments in the country for about 60 years. Through Chevron’s principal subsidiary in Nigeria, the company operates and holds a 40 percent interest in eight concessions in the onshore and near-onshore regions of the Niger Delta under a joint-venture arrangement with the NNPC.
First published – Sept. 09, 2021 @ 15:31 GMT |