Odahiekwu Ogunde, Yenagoa
An oil major, Chevron Nigeria Limited, says it is committed to meeting its social obligations to host communities.
General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Esimaje Brikinn, spoke at the 8th Annual General Meeting of The Dodo River Communities Development Association in Ekeremor Local Area of Bayelsa on Friday.Represented by Mr Elijah Bikikoro, Team Lead at CNL, Brikinn applauded the association for successful management of the development process and achieving community empowerment and sustainable development.
He assured the people that despite the harsh global environment for the energy sector, the oil firm remained committed to meeting its social obligations to its host communities.
He stated, “We are glad that Dodo River Community Development Association has executed and inaugurated several development projects, including concrete walkways, potable water, town halls, electricity power project and others.
“It is also heart-warming to note that that the association has trained hundreds of persons in diverse vocational skills in addition to a special economic empowerment as well as adult education programme for women and scholarship for students from the communities.”
Chairman of the association, Mr Francis Amamogiran, said the association spent a total of N77.87 million on community development in 2019 fiscal year.
He said the fund came from Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) as development obligation under a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).
According to him, the association generated a total income of N93.93 million in 2019 slightly higher than the N82.56 m it got in 2018.
He said that N35.19m was spent on direct project expenditure while N12.27m on general and administrative costs, N23.34 m on scholarships while N7.06m went for Community Engagement Management Board (CEMB) Administrative expenditures.
He said: “This Annual General Meeting is a means of demonstrating one of the GMoU objectives which is transparency and accountability. This will enable us to have the desired trust of our people in our dealings as we carry out our stewardship function.
“We will not stop to call on government at various levels, the local government in particular to be fully involved to encourage, guide, monitor and provide necessary support in community development planning and implementation.”
Secretary of the association, Mr Mark Christmas, applauded members of the host community for their peaceful disposition and use of dialogue, which resulted in the award of peace bonus by CNL.
Representatives of Chevron host communities comprising youths and women as well as traditional rulers in Ekeremor LGA attended the meeting held at Dodo River Communities Secretariat in Yenagoa.