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allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Shell Spends N12.7 Billion On Devt

This Day (Lagos)
December 11, 2006
Posted to the web December 11, 2006
Ahamefula Ogbu
Port Harcourt

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), has said within 2005, it went into different developmental intervention efforts in the Niger Delta worth $97.5 million (about N12.675 billion), aimed at improving the lives of the people.

This was in addition to other empowerment programmmes in partnership with organisations which have similar developmental interventions.
 
According to a statement from the oil company, it went into a $73 million road construction in partnership with the Niger Delta Development Commis-sion on the construction of the Ogbia-Nembe road in Bayelsa, which they said would open up a lot of communities.

The agreement is to the effect that SPDC would fund 70 percent of the total cost, while NDDC would contribute 30 percent and would connect several communities hitherto not linked by road in both Rivers and Bayelsa states.

It also said it has started implementation of the $20 million Cassava Enterprise Development Programme (CEDP) since 2004, in partnership with the USAID, on a sharing formula of 75 per cent cost sponsorship by SPDC, while USAID contributes 25 per cent.

The programme has the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), as the implementing partner and has recorded appreciable progress with the establishment of three medium scale processing mills in Abia, Akwa Ibom and Rivers.The mills, said to have commenced processing of odourless cassava flour, are located in Abak (Akwa Ibom), Umuekechi (Abia) and Onne (Rivers), while another six centres for the mechanised production of garri have been completed in six states.

The garri scheme trains farmers in cultivation, processing and marketing of cassava products which has created employment for over 1000 people. Other areas of intervention to empower host communities the statement said, include the SPDC/Globacom partnership where 225 beneficiaries had communication kiosks given to them in remote areas of the Niger Delta which success has led to the planning for additional 400 of such centers and mini cyber cafes where they would be needed.

On the health front, they said that their $4.5 million intervention fund focuses on checking communicable diseases as they have set up health centers after the completion of the baseline survey.

They in addition provided 7,000 mosquito treated bed nets and 108,000 doses of World Health approved anti-malaria drugs. They hope to commence another $18 million intervention on biodiversity, strengthening good governance and tackling HIV/AIDS control and prevention.

The report was given at a forum organized for Non Governmental Organisation to exchange ideas of how best interventions should be patterned in the Niger Delta for optimal effectiveness.
 
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