By kennedy Dimaku:
Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) has reaffirmed its commitment to sustain community development projects that would improve the lives of people in the communities where it operates.
The Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Fawthrop made this commitment at a two-day fair and exhibition on the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) held yesterday at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. He noted that GMoU was adopted in 2005 as a partnership model for engaging communities within its operation. The GMoU has continued to lead to significant development in many of the communities where the company operates.
According to him, the GmoU has given the communities the opportunity to drive their own development by empowering the people. He said, “I want to emphasize that Chevron Nigeria Limited is resolutely committed to building partnership that improve the lives of people in communities where we operate. This is in line with our corporate vision to be the global energy company, most admired for its people, partnerships and performance.”
He pointed out that the fair and exhibition which is the first since the GMoU started in 2005 was aimed to highlight some of the successes it has recorded.
The GMoU is between the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture and eight Regional Development Committees (RDCs), the community development organizations representing several communities close to NNPC/Chevron operation in Niger Delta areas.
Also, Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affair, East Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Joe Jakpa posited that the GMoU empowers its member communities to identify and determine their developmental needs using the funds provided by CNL while the government ensures that the governance had the control measures which guarantee that approved projects are executed with financial transparency and accountability are followed. “Since 2005, the GMoU has been advancing ideas and programmes that foster sustainable development in the communities. Over 200 infrastructural projects have been executed in the communities through the initiative.” He noted.
In a paper titled Promoting Peace and Dialogue, presented by Prince Philemon Esbiesuwa, Pioneer Chairman, Ilaje RDC, he stated that GMoU has transformed and made great things to happen in the communities compared to when the oil companies were dealing directly with the communities, noting that money meant for development was always alleged to have been share by community leader and elders. “GMoU is a good policy of promoting peace through dialogue with the communities and stakeholders.”
He said the essence of the paper is to state that development cannot be achieved with out enabling environment, stressing that peace is very necessary for development to thrive in any community. “GMoU process has a dispute resolution mechanism and a peace committee that is set up to address conflicts disagreements, misunderstanding and disputes between any community or their representatives and the company.” He said.
Hon Stanley Benibo, Chairman Kula RDC reflected how Kula community is the driver of developmental projects in the community. For instance he said, “We have a lot of projects that can be physically verifiable. We are calling on government and other oil companies to emulate the GMoU of Chevron Nigerian Limited.
“The Funds that have been donated are judiciously used to develop the communities. You can see that through GMoU projects like building of 30 housing units as compensation and rehabilitation to people affected as a result of construction of two internal roads in Kula community, we have the empowerment skill of 20 Rio Car, and the only source of electricity we are using , 500 KVA is provided through GMoU, and lot more.”
To Mr. Tuduo Christopher KEFFES RDC Chairman, the only government that 8 communities that make up KEFFES RDC know is Chevron. With GMoU, communities jealously guide projects within there area. The people no longer see them as Chevron or government projects. The projects become communities’ projects and properties”. He stated