The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on Wednesday said it had disbursed N41.1 billion to fund 37 cluster development projects in Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Abia states in 13 years.
Mr Igo Weli, the SPDC General Manager, External Relations disclosed this at the “Kou General Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) Cluster Development Board Livelihood Programme Graduation Ceremony” held in Warri.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kou is in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
Represented by Mr Evans Krukrubo, SPDC, Manager, External Relations, Weli said the amount spanned between 2006 till date.
He said 158 beneficiaries of the training programme in Kou cluster would be presented with starter packs to enable them to kick-start their businesses.
“The communities benefiting from this scheme are: Agge, Agge Palm Bush, Azambiri, Ogbeintu, Orobiri and Amazor in Ekeremor Local Government Area.
“The beneficiaries have been trained and presented with materials which include: 50 units of Deepsea fishing boats and accessories.
“50 pieces of 40HP Yamaha engines for 50 beneficiaries.
“72 persons trained in the Kou cluster-wide Women Skill Acwuisition and Empowerment Programme will be presented with starter packs.
“36 beneficiaries in the cluster-wide Youth Empowerment Programme will be given Motorcycles,” he said.
Weli said SPDC was committed to increasing its social investment to host communities in Nigeria.
He urged the people to create the enabling environment to allow the company to run its operations without disturbance.
Mr Ogboriyai Ogbari, Head, Petroleum Department, Ministry of Mineral Resources, Bayelsa, who represented the state government commended SPDC for the gesture.
Mr Patrick Igbosaibigha, the Board Chairman, Kou Cluster, thanked the SPDC for the gesture and assured the company of their cooperation.
“We encourage you not to relent in this great task of developing our communities which has improved the lives of our rural dwellers through skill acquisition training,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Alfred Ayefa thanked the SPDC and the Bayelsa Government for the gesture.