The Nigerian oil and gas industry is strategic to the overall socio-economic development of the country. It is an industry that thrives on partnership with key stakeholders. Organizations within the industry are deliberate in building productive, collaborative, trusting and mutually- beneficial relationships to support the country’s development efforts.
One of the organizations that continue to make giant strides in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/CNL Joint Venture (JV), together with other Chevron companies in Nigeria. CNL has long identified corporate responsibility as the foundation for sustainable business. Recognizing that its business success is linked to society’s progress, CNL works with the communities, government and other partners to support strategic social investments in health, education and economic development, and other focus areas such as the environment and sports development.
CNL recognizes the complexities of operating within the Niger Delta region. As part of the company’s forward-thinking approach, the NNPC/CNL JV in partnership with others evolved an innovative model for engaging its communities and stakeholders known as the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), a participatory partnership model for community-driven development.
CNL’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn explained that the positive impact of the GMoU model, established in 2005 and funded by CNL, has been very encouraging. In the 15 years of its implementation, the GMoU model has recorded significant achievements; especially in areas of education, health, and economic development. Through the GMoU, the communities, represented by the different Regional Development Committees (RDCs) have executed a wide range of community development projects in the communities neighboring CNL’s operations. In addition to hundreds of infrastructure projects implemented through the GMoU, it has helped to reduce potentials for conflicts, enhanced peace-building process and human capital development – which are helping to sustain wealth creation in communities around CNL’s areas of operations.
On health, CNL has partnered with the RDCs and the respective state governments to build, equip and run cottage hospitals in the communities. Some of the hospitals completed and already in use include the Dodo River cottage hospital in Bayelsa State (one of the biggest of such in the Niger Delta), which was executed by the Dodo River RDC; the cottage hospitals in Tsekelewu and Oporoza, in Delta State, which were executed by the Egbema Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF) under our GMoU. Other health projects been implemented under the GMoU include the planned cottage hospital at Gbokoda in Delta State and the Mother and chidcare centre at Ugbo in Ondo State.
The NNPC/CNL JV built and donated a DNA Molecuar laboratory to the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, and the facility is very significant to medical research in Nigeria. Also recently, CNL donated a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory to Warri Central Hospital to support the Delta State government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to other industry-collaboration donations. Also, through its “Roll-Back Malaria” programme, CNL partners with the government and others to reduce the high burden and deaths due to malaria.
In addition to the CSR efforts through the NNPC/CNL JV, Chevron’s deepwater operations have been exemplary in strategic social investments in health, which are implemented across the country in line with the Deep Offshore Community Affairs Group (DOCAG) principle. For instance, Chevron and its parties in the Agbami field – Famfa Oil Limited, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Equinor Nigeria Energy Company Limited, and Prime 127 Nigeria Limited – have been investing in fighting Tuberculosis (TB) with the construction and equipment of chest clinics in Nigeria to support the treatment and care of tuberculosis patients in Nigeria.
Currently 28 such chest clinics fully-equipped with standard X-Ray machines, male and female wards, treatment rooms, laboratories and 26 Gene Xpert Machines have been completed across the federation to support Nigerian health system. The Agbami parties’ contributions to the fight against TB was recently recognized through an award presented by Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari. Chevron is also the largest contributor to Global Fund against HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB. The Agbami parties have also donated 9 mother-and-child health care centers and one medical diagnostics laboratory in some States in Nigeria. Some of the donated chest clinics and mother and childcare centers have become useful for COVID-19 response in some states at the moment.
On education, Chevron companies in Nigeria have continued to support education development in the Niger Delta region and across the country through development of education infrastructure, capacity building and scholarships. CNL has the National and Community scholarships and scholarships for the disabled and visually-impaired students.
Also, the Agbami parties established the Agbami Medical and Engineering Professional Scholarship (AMAEPS) in 2009. Since inception of the programme, over 16,547 students from all the states of Nigeria have benefitted from the scholarship, out of which 715 students have graduated with first class degrees. Chevron and its Deepwater parties have continued to invest in education infrastructure. As at today, the parties have executed 39 Science laboratory complexes and eight conventional and hybrid libraries across the country. Also, Chevron and its partners take a wide-ranging activity to encourage students to develop interest in key subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and, ultimately pursue STEM courses and career.
On economic development, Esimaje highlighted the impact of the Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), established by Chevron corporation in 2010 which focuses on developing new solutions to the wider, regional economic and social development challenges of the Niger Delta. This model, committed to building partnership for peace and equitable development, hinges its strategy on four main and mutually-reinforcing areas: Economic development; Peace building; Capacity building; Analysis and Advocacy. PIND’s footprints and impact in Niger Delta are very-well pronounced, with significant successes recorded in the areas of aquaculture, cassava, palm oil, cocoa, poultry and small businesses; water sanitation, technology development and so on. From inception to the end of its second strategic phase (2010-2019), Chevron has invested over 100 million dollars in PIND programmes which have reached over 630,000 farmers and agro-allied SMEs. Also, more than 361,000 farmers and agro-allied SMEs have recorded increased yield and productivity through PIND’s support, while over 223,000 farmers and SMEs recorded increased income by an aggregate of $83.6 Million.
Mr. Brikinn extolled CNL’s commitment to preserving the environment, which has left enduring landmarks in the landscape. “The company’s partnership with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) resulted to the construction of the Lekki Conservation Centre in 1992 and the sponsorship of two research grants annually for the S.L Edu Ph.D. research in Environmental Studies as well as the annual Walk for Nature programme. Over the years, the Lekki Conservation Centre has served, as an education and resource center to varieties of groups, majority of which are schools and tourists.” he said.
CNL is optimistic about the future of oil and gas business in Nigeria as the opportunities are enormous. According to Esimaje, “CNL has been in Nigeria for close to 60 years, making significant investments and contributing to the socio-economic development of the country. Opportunities in the energy industry are broad and varied and could be harnessed to engender economic development. CNL will continue to work with communities, government and other partners to support strategic social investments in the communities around our operations and elsewhere in Nigeria.”