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Shell Nigeria begins CSR programmes across the country

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Babatunde Alaran

It is part of the company’s responsibility to impact the lives of society and to create a valued environment that is profitable to overall the company’s growth and that of its suburbs. However, this part of development, is to share amenities equally within business, employees and stakeholders

Also, it is not even a reversed progression, but corporate social responsibility, CSR agenda are fairly consistent across the corporate world and that is why many more companies around the world have incorporated CSR as a critical part of their core operations. One of such companies that prioritizes sustainability development in its operations is Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC).
Shell Nigeria is an arm of the multinational oil corporation Shell Corporation operating under the entities Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO), and Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG). It has had a presence in Nigeria since its foundation by Royal Dutch/Shell Group in 1936 and has been involved in onshore and offshore exploration and production of oil and natural gas (Shell, 2011).
The company’s operations spread out within the Niger Delta (Nigeria) and constituting the Group’s international supply chain comprise 6000km of flow pipeline networks and stations, oil fields and producing wells, gas plants, and two major export terminals (Royal Dutch Shell, 2012a; OPEC, 2011).

But due to the general lack of infrastructure and development projects provided by respective governments in the Niger Delta, SPDC has often stepped in and acted in lieu of government. “We have a strong focus on community development,” former SPDC MD Mutiu Sunmonu stated.
SPDC’s community development focus has shifted in recent years, he continued. “In the past we were heavily involved in the provision of infrastructure in the communities. We were building roads, schools, clinics and providing portable water. Though these are typical areas for government intervention, we stepped into the gap to help in improving the standard of living of local communities.”
“We are now involving more and more development partners to help in addressing community needs. Specific community development programs include our micro credit scheme and health scheme,” SPDC MD said in an earlier interview.

In 2006, in order to deepen its CSR strategy as well as ensure better impact and inclusivity, SPDC introduced a new means of involving communities directly in their own development through a framework called Global Memorandum of Understanding program or GMoU. The GMoU entails communities proposing development projects to SPDC, on behalf of its JV partners. SPDC also provides community project leaders with access to development experts and NGOs that can assist them realize their aims.

Under the terms of the GMoUs, the SPDC JV provides secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice, which are managed by Cluster Development Boards (CDBs) under the guidance of mentoring NGOs. Projects include power supply improvement, construction of market stalls, sanitation, water supply improvements and community centres. Since the implementation of the GMoU SPDC has recorded tremendous CSR achievement across diverse areas of human endeavors.

The framework has been innovatively applied to ensure that CSR investment are deployed to have maximum impact on host communities and drive impactful socio-economic changes. Some of the major sustainability projects that have been embarked upon by the multinational oil and gas company include:

Enterprise Development

LiveWIRE is Shell’s flagship youth enterprise development programme that provides training and finance to young people between the ages of 18-35 to start their own businesses. Launched in Nigeria in 2003, this programme enables young entrepreneurs to convert their bright ideas into sustainable businesses creating wider employment and income opportunities for communities.
Two hundred and thirty people were trained in 2017. To date, the LiveWIRE programme has trained 6,780 Niger Delta youth in enterprise development and management, and provided business start-up grants to 3,493.
In November 2017, the Shell LiveWIRE programme launched a global competition called the ‘Top Ten Innovators Awards’. The competition, open to alumni of Shell LiveWIRE, aimed to create role models for other young entrepreneurs, and demonstrate that innovation supports growth and job creation. Two former Nigerian Shell LiveWIRE entrepreneurs received merit awards of $5,000 (N1.51 million3) each in recognition of their innovative and creative ideas.

Education

Shell Companies in Nigeria have a long history of supporting education through scholarships and other initiatives. Since inception in the 1950s, the Shell scholarship scheme has supported several thousands of “Shell Scholars” many of whom are among today’s captains of industry, thought leaders, traditional rulers, and officials of various arms of government. In 2017, $5.2 million (N1.57 million33) was invested in scholarships by The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited operated Joint Venture (SPDC JV) and SNEPCo. Grants were awarded to 540 secondary school students and 599 university undergraduates in 2017. Shell Companies in Nigeria have awarded 8,192 secondary and 5,034 university educational grants between 2011 and 2017. This includes 185 secondary school scholarships to people with special needs and physical challenges.

Cradle-to-Career Scholarships

Both the SPDC JV and SNEPCo continue to invest in the Cradle-to-Career scholarship programme, which pays for children from rural communities to attend some of the country’s top secondary schools. Since 2010, a total of 480 students have received Cradle-to-Career scholarships from the SPDC JV, which targets pupils from the Niger Delta. A national version of the programme was expanded to the entire country by SNEPCo in 2014, which has benefited 268 students mostly from public primary schools.

Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) and Schools

SNG also recognises that education is a critical need for communities residing in the areas of its operations and supports efforts to provide a positive learning environment for students and teachers.
To this end, in 2016, the company donated a block of five classrooms, a stand-alone toilet facility, school water system, upgraded football field, and renovated five blocks of 19 classrooms for shared use by the African Church Community Secondary School and the co-located Ebenezer African Church Primary School in Ewupe. The donation was the first phase of SNG’s investment in the community, which host the company’s facilities in the Ota area of Ogun State.

University Scholarships

A lack of world class research institutions and limited access to technology are key challenges in enabling Nigerians and Nigerian companies to play an even greater role in the oil and gas value chain. Therefore, Shell Companies in Nigeria, through scholarships and partnerships with universities, focus on promoting educational advancement and the pursuit of academic excellence for Nigerians.
The SPDC JV awards scholarships under two broad categories: the National Merit Award, which is open to every first year Nigerian undergraduate; and the Areas of Operation Merit Award, which specifically targets students from communities where SPDC operates. More than 20,000 applications are received every year from prospective candidates in Nigerian universities. At a post-graduate level, the SPDC JV Niger Delta Post Graduate scholarship programme has benefited 69 individuals since it was introduced in 2010. More details on this programme can be found in the Nigerian Content Development section.

In 2017, SNEPCo launched its first Post Graduate Scholarship Award programme for qualifying applicants nationwide to further their education in courses that are relevant to the oil and gas industry, with specific focus on Geotechnical Engineering and Hydrography. Three scholarships were awarded for a one-year Master’s Degree programme in partnership with three UK universities – the University of Birmingham, Newcastle University and Plymouth University – for the academic year commencing 2017.

Shell Professorial Chair Programme

Another highly regarded initiative sponsored by Shell Companies in Nigeria that supports learning and research at a tertiary level is the Shell Professorial Chair Programme.

The SPDC JV has endowed six active Professorial Chairs at the following Nigerian universities: Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Nigeria in Nsukka, University of Port Harcourt, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, University of Uyo and the Federal University of Petroleum Resources in Effurun (FUPRE). The Chairs are in the fields of Geophysics, Petroleum Engineering, Mechanical Engineering,

Youth Skills Development

Shell Companies in Nigeria also strive to develop youth in their host communities by equipping them with the appropriate tools and skills necessary for jobs.
To mark Nigeria’s centenary anniversary, SPDC and its JV Partners donated a modern public library to the Port Harcourt Literary Society in November 2016. Equipped with books, internet access and reliable power supply it is expected that the library, to which SPDC JV contributed around $5 million (N1.58 billion4), will deliver significant benefits and positively impact the lives of many residents of Port Harcourt.

Access to Energy Initiatives

#makethefuture

In 2016 Shell launched an educational public service campaign in Nigeria as part of a global effort to encourage debate on how a rapidly expanding world population can meet its energy needs. The campaign, titled #makethefuture featured events such as music video launches at Africa’s first human and solar-powered football pitch at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka in Lagos. The traditional football pitch was transformed by Shell in 2015 using more than 90 underground tiles that capture kinetic energy created by the movement of players. This bright energy idea allows students to play at night using floodlights powered both by kinetic energy and solar panels and provides a safer and more secure space in the heart of the community. In 2017 Shell unveiled the next chapter of its #makethefuture campaign by leveraging the power of music to draw people’s attention around access to energy. Nigerian music icon, Yemi Alade, joined other international stars to launch Shell’s new music video ‘On Top of the World’ which highlighted a diverse range of energy initiatives around the world.

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SANWO-OLU BIDS JUSTICE BULKACHUWA FAREWELL, AS APPEAL COURT PRESIDENT RETIRES

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…Lagos’ll Always Keep Faith In The Rule Of Law, Says Governor

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said his administration will not deviate from the tenet of constitutional democracy, promising that actions of the State Government under his watch will be kept within the ambit of the law.

He said his Government’s faith in the judicial system remained unshakable, adding that Lagos had been a beneficiary of the rule of law.

Sanwo-Olu spoke on Wednesday while receiving the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, on a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Marina.

Justice Bulkachuwa, who was accompanied by other Justices of the Appeal Court, is retiring from the service after reaching the mandatory retirement period.

The Governor said Lagos would always stand on the good side of the law, adding that his administration would particularly stand in principle against actions that may undermine the independence of the Court.

He said: “Government in Lagos State is committed to ensuring that we all live within the ambit of the law. We will continue to engage the judiciary as an independent arm of the government. All of us in the executive arm will continue to uphold the tenet of the constitution that we swore to in our ways and deeds. We will not run foul of the law or any pronouncement of the Court.”

Sanwo-Olu saluted the outgoing Justice Bulkachuwa for her courage in driving far-reaching reforms in the Court of Appeal, saying her legacies would strengthen administration of justice across the country. The Governor said her legacies would be a guiding light for members of the judiciary and officers in the other arms of government.

The Governor said: “We are happy that you are proceeding to retirement at this prime age. You are now 70 years old but you are looking like a 50-year-old. Glory be to Almighty Allah for the grace of youthful appearance and energy. You have had a wonderful career in the judiciary.

“The several successes you have recorded during your tenure as President of the Court of Appeal will continue to be the legacy we will uphold in remembrance of your service to the nation. You are the oldest serving President of the Court of Appeal and you brought many reforms and laudable initiatives to strengthen the judicial process.

“Whoever is succeeding you will have enough to draw from your legacies. We hope you keep your doors open not only to the judiciary but also all of us who are looking forward to learn from your leadership skills.”

Justice Bulkachuwa said she would dedicate her retirement life to promoting girl-child education across the country, noting that she would not have achieved her potential had her father not given her a chance to go to school.

She was hopeful that the reforms and discipline she had instituted in the judiciary would be strengthened by the serving members, pointing out that she had mentored a new breed of judicial officers to entrench “good legacies” she is leaving behind.

“I will still be with my sisters and brother in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Courts. I have mentored so many young judicial officers and upcoming lawyers to carry on the legacies. I will still be part of the judicial system despite my retirement,” Justice Bulkachuwa said.

Asked why she chose to visit Lagos Governor in her first valedictory visit to any elected official, Justice Bulkachuwa said it was in Lagos the first Court of Appeal was set up among the three divisions created in 1976.

Besides, she said Lagos is playing pivotal roles in the administration of justice system, pointing out that majority of lawyers in the judiciary are serving in the State. She added that most of Appeal Court’s cases were being instituted in Lagos.

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THERE’S NO MULTIPLE TAXATION IN LAGOS – SANWO-OLU

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www.securenigeria365.com

Lagos State Government has reiterated that there is currently no multiple taxation in Lagos State revenue system.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated this during a courtesy visit to Lagos House, Ikeja by the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS) Mr. Muhammad Nami.

Placing emphasis on startups, the Governor stated that his administration will always improve on the ease of doing business in the State rather than stifle the economy with loaded taxes.

Mr Sanwo-Olu promised to embrace and support the activities of start-ups who are scared of the tax burden associated with businesses.

He also urged Nigerians to pay their taxes regularly in order for the Government to attain a balanced development at all levels, which according to him, include social infrastructure, security among others.

The Governor promised that Lagos State Government would continue with the existing relationship and further collaborate with the Federal Inland revenue Service in sharing information to aid revenue collection and ensure deliverables were met.

Sanwo-Olu lauded the Federal Government for considering the starte up businesses in the exemption threshold on taxation.

His said: “we will make sure that there is ease of doing businesses, especially start-ups, that are always scared that they have multiple taxation. There is nothing like multiple taxation in Lagos.

“It is clear that they are exempted but that doesn’t stop them from doing proper filing and ensure transparent reporting at whichever level of their business.

“We will also use this opportunity to encourage our citizens that it is only when they play their own part as responsible citizens both at the corporate and individual level that the government can come up and discharge its responsibilities.

“Development is by tax and it is only when we collect reasonably amount of tax that we can introduce development both at infrastructure level and more importantly on security so we cannot but ensure that we collaborate and corporate with you,” he said.

Responding to the Chairman on the N8.5 trillion target set by the President, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the country has the capacity to generate such amount but warned that it must be done cautiously.

Also speaking on the ongoing Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) 2020 meeting holding for the first time in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu said it was an opportunity to deliberate on the proceeds that State gets from the Federal Government was used judiciously.

He said: “I am sure they know clearly that you can live up to those bills and 8.5 trillion sounds a lot but they know you have the capacity.

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, said the aim of the visit was to ensure effective performance of the service in meeting its target and in its request to share information, collaborate in building capacity as well as engage private sector on the Value Added Tax collection.

“We feel without this collaboration, we cannot generate this 8.5 trillion that we have been mandated by the President to generate,” he said.

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LAGOS-BADAGRY HIGHWAY MUST REMAIN 10-LANE CARRIAGEWAY, SANWO-OLU APPEALS TO FG

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The 10-lane right-of-way already set by the Lagos State Government in the ongoing construction of Lagos-Badagry Expressway needs to be preserved, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged the Federal Government.

Sanwo-Olu said the ongoing construction work on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway would shoot up population upon completion and open the corridor up for more physical development.

The Governor stressed that the maintenance of 10-lane on the stretch currently being constructed by the Federal Government was necessary to help the State efficiently manage traffic and enhance safety of residents on the axis.

Sanwo-Olu spoke on Wednesday, while meeting with members of the Senate Committee on Works that paid him a courtesy visit at the State House in Alausa. The Committee was led by its chairman, Sen. Adamu Aliero.

The Federal Government is currently handling the construction of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway from Agbara to Seme Border, while Lagos Government is complementing the effort from Orile to Iba town, creating five-lane on either sides of the 22-kilometre-long stretch.

The Governor said reducing the expressway to two-lane highway could not be sustainable for future development, adding that the preservation of the 10-lane already set on the highway would make it easy for Lagos to extend its Blue Line Rail project into Badagry town.

Sanwo-Olu said: “I am happy that the Federal Government has taken up the construction of Lagos-Badagry Expressway from Agbara to Seme Border. But the challenge is that we don’t want them to reduce the expressway to two lanes. We’ve said to them that they should keep the 10-lane right-of-way, instead of reducing it back to two-lane. Even if what they are going to build is two lanes on either sides, let them keep the space for expansion to 10 lanes. So that in future, either State or Federal government can build on it.

“We also have our rail infrastructure along that Badagry corridor and we are hoping that it will be completed before the end of next year. With the rail corridor and the 10-lane expressway, it means we can extend the rail project to Badagry. That’s why we must preserve the 10 lanes for future development.”

The Governor thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly for prioritising the rehabilitation of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the budgetary support being giving to the Ministry of Works and Housing handling the project.

Sanwo-Olu praised the Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, for the progress recorded on the ongoing construction work on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, while also urging the Federal Government to hasten the rehabilitation work on other inter-state expressways, including Ikorodu-Sagamu Highway, Itokin Expressway and Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.

He said Lagos had already started to leverage Public Private Partnership (PPP) in providing requisite infrastructure to support businesses and enhance economic growth. He said the State was ready to support other private-led initiatives that would bring succour to commuters and residents of the State.

Aliero said the purpose for the Committee members’ trip to Lagos was to inspect the ongoing road projects being handled by the Federal Government in the State, noting that the Senators would be visiting Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonsoki, Lagos-Ibadan and Lagos-Badagry expressways to inspect the ongoing work on the roads.

The Committee chairman said Lagos deserved the attention being accorded to it by the Federal Government, describing the State as “strategic” for commerce and innovation in the country.

Although two of the road projects are being funded from Sovereign Wealth Fund and Budget, Aliero said there was need for Government at all level to partner with private sector for development projects. He said the National Assembly had start working on legislation that would make the Government to leverage PPP model in financing infrastructure.

He said: “We can no longer rely on budgetary allocations to continue funding projects. We have to find an alternative way of providing infrastructure, including roads, railway and power. Perhaps it is important now to go into PPP, giving the example laid down by Alhaji Aliko Dangote who is constructing and expanding Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonsoki Expressway. If we had gone by budget, it might take another 10 years to complete the road.

“If we allow the private sector to construct and manage the infrastructure, it would go a long way in making provision of infrastructure easier. This is why the Senate is coming up with strong legislation to enable the private sector to go into partnership with Government to build infrastructure. Whatever money remain can be invested in social sector, such as education and healthcare delivery.”

Aliero praised the Lagos Government for complementing the effort of the Comptroller of Works in traffic management and rehabilitation of failed sections of federal roads.

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