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Shell companies invest $40m in Nigeria, highest globally

Shell, Thursday, said Nigeria emerged the highest recipient of its social investment spending across the world in 2019, stating that its companies operating in Nigeria — Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) and Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) —- invested $40 million in the country.

In its Nigerian Briefing Notes released to the investing community, Shell said the investments were in the provision of access to affordable healthcare, educational support, enterprise support, accelerating access to energy, and providing assistance and safety.

In addition, the company stated that it had invested $252 million in community-driven programmes since 2006; 667,000 beneficiaries in its health outreach beneficiaries since its start, and 6,000 university grants since 2011.

According to the company, Nigeria is a thriving and vibrant country,offering opportunities for people to improve their livelihoods, adding that the scale of the opportunity was mirrored by the scale of the challenges to provide affordable energy, education, healthcare and conditions for local businesses to grow.

Specifically, it stated that Shell Companies in Nigeria had invested in healthcare and education initiatives in Nigeria for decades and they continue to support a range of programmes.

According to Shell, the companies undertake two types of social investment activities, direct social investment across Nigeria, which focuses on community and enterprise development, education, community health, access-to-energy, road safety and since 2018, biodiversity.

The companies, it said, also undertake 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).

It added that there are currently 39 active GMoUs in Abia, Bayelsa, Delta,Imo and Rivers States. In 2019; stating that three new GMoUs were deployed and 10 GMOUs renewed.

It further stated that the GMoUs provide a secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice.

According to Shell, since 2006, a total of $252 million had been disbursed to communities through these GMoUs, noting that GMoU projects cover community health, education, enterprise development and social infrastructure, such as improved water and power supply, and sanitation.

In the area of education, Shell said: “Educating Nigeria’s young population is critical to the success of the country. Shell Companies in Nigeria have a long history of supporting education through scholarships and other initiatives. Since the 1950s, the Shell scholarship schemes have supported several thousands of students many of whom are among Nigeria’s business, political and social leaders.

“In 2019, the SPDC JV and SNEPCo invested $7.8 million in scholarships. Since 2011, the schemes have awarded more than 9,400 secondary school grants and over 6,000 university grants to students.”

In the area of Enterprise support, the company said: “Shell works to improve the chances for Nigerians toachieve their ambitions. In addition to providing access to loans to small and medium businesses which could become Shell suppliers and contractors, there is also the LiveWIRE youth enterprise development programme.

“LiveWIRE was launched in Nigeria in 2003 and provides training and finance to young people between the ages of 18-35 to start or expand their own businesses. In 2019, 140 people benefitted from the LiveWIRE programme, receiving training in enterprise development and management, as well as business start-up grants. More than 7,000 Nigerian youths have so far been trained under the programme and almost 4,000 young entrepreneurs were provided with business grants.”