Working with communities
SCiN work with government, communities and civil society to implement programmes that can positively impact people’s lives in the Niger Delta and in other parts of Nigeria. The programmes focus on community and enterprise development, education and health.
In 2015, SPDC JV and Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Co Ltd (SNEPCo) invested around $10 million (Shell share around $3 million) in scholarships and education programmes. Grants were awarded to 930 secondary school students and 638 university undergraduates during 2015. Ten postgraduate scholarships were also awarded to students from Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states to study engineering and geosciences at international universities.
The cradle to career programme enrolled 60 new students in 2015. The programme was launched in 2010 to pay for children from rural communities in the Niger Delta to attend some of the country’s leading secondary schools. Over five years, 410 places have been awarded.
SPDC JV has supported community health in the Niger Delta since the 1980s: the Obio Cottage Hospital in Port Harcourt, set up by SPDC JV, has become one of the most visited health facilities in the region. This is due to a community health-insurance scheme which was the first of its kind for the Niger Delta. More than 45,000 people had been enrolled in the SPDC JV community health-insurance scheme at Obio Cottage Hospital by the end of 2015. In total, more than 550,000 host communities have benefited from outreach programmes between 2007 and 2015. The SPDC JV supports 18 health centres in the Niger Delta and SNEPCo supports two centres outside the Niger Delta.
SNEPCo will also be collaborating with Project Gaia Prospects, an international non-governmental organisation to conduct a year-long pilot study to promote the use of clean cookstoves in Lagos households. SNEPCo will provide 2,500 clean cookstoves in 2016.
LiveWIRE, Shell’s youth entrepreneurship programme, has now been extended beyond the Niger Delta to include Lagos, with 255 trainees, and 126 business grants awarded in 2015. In total, 6,290 people have been trained under the programme between 2003 and 2015 and 3,183 grants awarded.
SPDC JV also provides funds for communities as part of its global memorandum of understanding (GMoU), where projects are nominated by community groups. To date, 35 GMoUs are in place covering 359 host communities, with the Ogulagha cluster of communities joining in 2015.
“SPDC and its joint-venture partners provide funds to support projects that are nominated by community groups under the GMoU agreement. SPDC was prepared to fund a marine services business for the Andoni Cluster, which is made up of 22 Niger Delta communities. This would enable the community-led enterprises to provide marine services to SPDC.
We invested the GMoU funds in a ship. Today, we have a vessel that is contracted to Shell and operating in the Santa Barbara field. This initiative has been a huge support to the communities in the Andoni Cluster and has employed seven young people. However, it would be simpler if payments were made direct to the community enterprise rather than through the marine services contractor.”