Getting involved in the community is a great way for any organization to build relationships and boost visibility and brand awareness. Whether it’s by sponsoring or taking part in community programs, or by enabling employee volunteerism, companies that encourage involvement in the community stand out among their peers and see multiple benefits as a result, such as a happier workforce, peaceful operations or a more loyal customer base.
In Nigeria, indigenous companies have impressively taken the charge in championing community development projects. A good example is the Energia / Oando Joint Venture (JV) social impact initiatives in its host community of Kwale, Delta State.
Since it began its operations in Kwale in 2010, Oando and its JV partner adopted a sustainable model of establishing Memorandums of Understanding with all its host communities in Delta state, through which three per cent of its gross revenue is set aside for the development of host communities and managed by two trust boards comprising experienced professionals from the community, the government and the JV.
One of such initiatives is the recently concluded its three-day community medical outreach in Kwale, themed ‘Health is Wealth’. The initiative is the JV partners’ first-ever medical outreach in Kwale, Ndokwa West Council Area of Delta State where it operates the Ebendo/Obodeti marginal field, OML 56. The event commenced at the Ebendo Health Centre and proceeded to Obodougwa, Isumpe, Umusadege, Umusam and Ugbani communities in Kwale.
To reiterate the importance of Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) to its company, Mr. Babafemi Onasanya, General Manager, Sub Surface, representing the Chief Operating Officer, Ainojie Irune, of Oando Petroleum Development Company said, “As a JV we believe that it is important to impact these communities positively. We want to show, through leading by example that you can be proudly indigenous, profitable and at the same time make the world a better place. We must deliberately always give back to our own.”
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Central Hospital, Kwale, Dr. Gabriel Abanum, representing the Delta state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emordi Ononye in his remarks said “It is commendable that Energia/Oando JV is partnering with its host communities in pursuit of the WHOSDG3, which includes grassroots healthcare provision for all. The development tallies with the state government’s investment in the health sector like free maternal care, free care for all under-five-year-olds. The initiative is also in tandem with government’s free HIV screening and treatment and the health contributory commission, where all civil servants registered to assess care free of charge. The state has even gone further to accommodate those from the informal sector to give residents a full complement of health all year round.” He further described the relationship between the company and Emu-Ebendo as a model to be emulated.
The medical outreach is aimed at achieving the World Health Organization Sustainable Development Goals 3 (WHOSDG3), in providing access to basic healthcare to its communities. Initiatives based in communities can have widespread effects. Not only can they transform the communities in which they are located, but they can act as seedbeds for similar programs elsewhere.
It is noteworthy that Oando and its JV partner is among few Nigerian indigenous companies, actively collaborating with the public sector in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through CSR projects.
Speaking further at the event Mr. Babafemi Onasanya said, “Like the popular saying goes, health is wealth. Without people of fit mind and body and an effective health system, our economic growth as a nation would be jeopardized. Good health cannot and should not be taken for granted, it is like a well-run savings account; it will work for you in your time of need. Good health is the desire of every man, woman and child. The Energia and Oando JV understand the value of good health and as good corporate citizens we have prioritized the health of our host and impacted community members.” He said; This five-day medical outreach serves as the Joint Venture’s way of supporting the community, the State and indeed the country in reaching the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. We are confident that this medical outreach will significantly help contribute to improving access to quality health care for the people of Kwale and surrounding communities.
The Managing Director of Energia Limited, Leste Aihevba, during his speech said, “In furtherance of our support and commitment to our hosts and impacted communities, we will seek collaboration with the Delta State Government, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other NGOs for upgrading the Kwale Central Hospital into a fully functional referral hospital. In that capacity, it will provide improved health care delivery services to communities in Ndokwa West Council Area and its environs, a situation that will reduce if not totally eliminate the stress of travelling to Warri, Asaba or Benin for medical care.”
Dr. Abanum also described the community as a well-organized community structured to engender peace for businesses to thrive, saying, “Any community that is not peaceful will embrace chaos, which will be detrimental to the development they should otherwise be enjoying.
This has been demonstrated by the leadership of Ebendo– the Okpala-Uku, President-General and the Community Development Committee (CDC), who are all present here with the entire community to embrace this event.”
In a closing remark, the President General, Emu Ebendo Community, Mr. Friday Ozobeme said, “Let me use this forum to appeal to the oil and gas companies operating in Ndokwa West Local Government Area to take a cue from Energia Limited by supporting their host and impacted communities through CSR activities.”
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 23rd of September 2020, 111 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 57,724 confirmed cases.
On the 23rd of September 2020, 111 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,177 samples across the country.
To date, 57,724 cases have been confirmed, 48,985 cases have been discharged and 1,102 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 484,051 tests have been carried out as of September 23rd, 2020 compared to 480,874 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 23rd September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 57,724
- Total Number Discharged – 48,985
- Total Deaths – 1,102
- Total Tests Carried out – 484,051
According to the NCDC, the 111 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (31), Gombe (18), Kaduna (18), FCT (15), Rivers (14), Imo (3), Kwara (3), Oyo (3), Bayelsa (2), Ogun (2), Edo (1), Osun (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,086, followed by Abuja (5,598), Plateau (3,304), Oyo (3,236), Edo (2,616), Kaduna (2,377), Rivers (2,277), Delta (1,800), Ogun (1,774), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,606), Enugu (1,285), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,028), Abia (881), Gombe (857). Katsina (848), Osun (818), Borno (741), and Bauchi (692).
Imo State has recorded 565 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (397), Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (234), Anambra (232), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Buhari to finally send Petroleum Industry Bill to National Assembly next week
Sources in the Presidency have disclosed that the President may be presenting the bill to the National Assembly.
President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to the Senate as early as next week.
According to Reuters, who were quoting 4 sources familiar with the development, the presentation of the bill to the National Assembly, follows its official approval by the president late last week. This is as the National Assembly has already formed teams of members that will work most closely on the individual portions of the bill.
Both chambers of the National Assembly must have to pass the bill after deliberating on it before it can then be passed on to the president for his final signature.
The PIB which is an oil reform bill has been in the works for about 20 years, is key to the repositioning of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry under its post-COVID-19 agenda as the main laws governing oil and gas exploration have not been fully updated since the 1960s due to some contentious issues like taxes, payments to local communities, terms and revenue sharing within Nigeria.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had disclosed that the delay and non-passage of the bill has made international investors to start losing confidence in the country’s oil and gas industry.
While revealing last month that the PIB will be presented to the National Assembly in the next few weeks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, also said that the executive arm will be requesting the lawmakers to specially reconvene to receive and start deliberations on the bill.
These oil reforms and regulatory certainty became more pressing this year as low oil prices and a shift towards renewable energy made competition for investment from oil majors tougher.
The draft copy of the bill which was prepared by the Petroleum Ministry is a product of series of consultation between the federal government, oil and gas companies and other industry stakeholders.
Excerpts from the bill reported by Reuters include provisions that would streamline and reduce some oil and gas royalties, increase the amount of money companies pay to local communities and for environmental clean-ups alter the dispute resolution process between companies and the government.
It also included measures to push companies to develop gas discoveries and a framework for gas tariffs and delivery. Commercializing gas, particularly for use in local power generation, is a core government priority.
UK-based group to investment $245 million in 100 Nigerian businesses
A UK based organization is to partner local investment funds to disburse $245 million to 100 Nigerian businesses.
A UK-based development finance institution, CDC Group, has finalized plans to invest US$425 million as an aid to 100 businesses and 38,000 jobs in Nigeria.
This is sequel to its partnership with 40 investment funds such as Afreximbank, African Capital Alliance and Indoram, NAN reports
In a virtual visit to the country by the board of the organization led by Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe and Chairman, Graham Wrigley, the UK Government-funded organization stated that all earnings from its investments are ploughed back to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.
CDC Group noted that it paid a virtual visit to the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, to discuss and ascertain the impact of CDC’s aid to its investees through the COVID-19 crisis and understand how to stimulate recovery and growth.
The discussions also focused on CDC’s own response to the pandemic through its preserved, strengthen and rebuild programme, the statement said
Commenting on the rationale of the aid, the Chief Executive of the CDC Group, Nick O’Donohe said that, “Nigeria plays a key part in our strategy of partnership and investment for economic growth in West Africa. “Hosting our 2020 board trip– albeit virtually – in both markets is a testament to our commitment.
“Looking forward, we will continue to prioritise the post-COVID-19 recovery as part of the Build Back Better agenda.
“We are committed to supporting a deeper and more strategic bilateral partnership between the UK and Nigeria that is based on enhancing economic development, job creation, inclusion, trade and investment,” O’Donohoe further remarked.
In a glowing tribute and commendation to the group, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CBE said CDC has been pivotal to creating jobs and supporting the growth of businesses by investing in the poorest countries across Africa, including Nigeria.
“CDC’s commitment to the country signals to other UK investors that investing in Nigeria is possible and should be prioritized in order to help Nigeria and indeed, Africa, mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” the envoy said.