Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited says it has spent N41.10bn on social investment programmes for its host communities in Niger Delta region in the last 12 years.

The company’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, who stated this, said the programmes were aimed at raising the standard of living of its host communities.

Weli, who was represented by SPDC’s Manager, External Relations, Evans Krukrubo, revealed this during the graduation of Kou General Memorandum of Understanding Cluster Development Board Livelihood Programme in Warri, Delta State.

He stated that the programmes were carried out by the SPDC and its joint venture to raise the standard of living in its area of operations.

The 158 beneficiaries were drawn from Agge, Agge Palm Bush, Azamabiri, Ogbeintu, Orobiri and Amazor communities in the Ekeremor Local Government Area in Bayelsa State.

Weli said, “Since 2006, when SPDC JV began to utilise the community-driven development programme tool of Global Memorandum of Understanding — of which Kou GMoU Cluster Development Board is one of the active 37 GMoU clusters in the Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Abia states — a total of $228m (N41. 10bn) has been disbursed to these clusters to form development projects.”

The beneficiaries who were trained and provided with business materials in various skills, including startup packs such as 50 units of deep-sea fishing boats and accessories, 50 pieces of 40HP Yamaha engines, make-up kits and cooking gas.

The Head, Department of Mineral Resources, Bayelsa State, Mr Ogbariyai Ogbari, who represented the Bayelsa State Government, thanked the SPDC JV for its commitment to changing the lives of people in the host communities.