CORRECTED: How Shell spent $40m on social investment – Report

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By Abdallah el-Kurebe 

The Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC JV, says it spent $40 million on social investment in its areas of operations in the Nigeria. 

In 2019, Shell’s Nigerian businesses – SPDC, SNEPCo and SNG – made direct social investments of $40 million in Nigeria, making the country the largest concentration of social investment spending in the Shell Group. These investments were in Access to affordable healthcare; supporting education; enterprise support; accelerating access to energy, and assistance and safety, a report said.

Excerpts of the report seen by Newsdiaryonline reporter said “Shell Companies in Nigeria have invested in healthcare and education initiatives in Nigeria for decades and they continue to support a range of programmes.

“The companies undertake two types of social investment activities (namely):Direct social investment across Nigeria, which focuses on community and enterprise development, education, community health, access-to-energy, road safety and since 2018, biodiversity;

“(And )Community-driven development programmes and initiatives in the Niger Delta, which focus on various themes as determined by benefitting communities and delivered through a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).

“There are 39 active GMoUs in Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers States. In 2019, three new GMoUs were deployed and 10 GMOUs renewed. The GMoUs provide a secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice. GMoU  projects cover community health, education, enterprise development and social infrastructure, such as improved water and power supply, and sanitation. Since 2006, a total of $252 million has been disbursed to communities through these GMoUs.”

Also a report on its website also states that  the oil company has been working with relevant stakeholders, to implement the 2011 United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Report on Ogoniland. 

According to it, “SPDC has taken action on all, and completed most, of the UNEP recommendations addressed specifically to it as operator of the joint venture over the last eight years.”

The UNEP report recommends a $1 billion Ogoni Trust Fund, to be co-funded by the Nigerian government, the SPDC JV and other operators in the area. 

Of SPDC’s share of $900 million to be contributed to the Fund over five years, the report revealed that the oil company had “made $10 million available in 2017 to help set up the Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project (HYPREP), an agency established by the federal government to lead the clean-up effort. 

“In 2018, the SPDC JV deposited a further $170 million into the escrow account to fund HYPREP’s activities, to complete its first-year contribution of $180 million. 

“The SPDC JV in 2019 contributed the next tranche of $180 million. At the end of 2019, the total contribution made was $360 million, which represents the full amount due for the two years,” the report further states. 

On clean up, the SPDC has been working with the Bodo community and others, to clean up areas affected by two operational spills in 2008. 

“A memorandum of understanding granting SPDC access to begin the clean-up was signed in 2015 and two contractors were selected to conduct the clean-up, overseen by an independent project director.

“The clean-up consists of three phases: 1) removal of free phase surface oil, 2) remediation of soil, 3) planting of mangroves and Monitoring,” it added. 

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