The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on Thursday presented a start-up capital to 100 entrepreneurs who successfully completed a business management training in Bayelsa sponsored by the oil firm.
Dr Akinwumi Fajola, Regional Community Health Manager , SPDC said the gesture , Ogbia Special LiveWIRE programme was targeted at Ogbial Local Government Area in Bayelsa where it struck oil in commercial quantities at Oloibiri over 60 years ago.
Fajola who was represented by Mrs Ufuoma Ovwigho, Clinical Surveillance Lead at SPDC noted that the oil firm has spent $5 million to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of Shell’s oil prospecting activities in Nigeria.
She said that the company realizes the historic value of Oloibiri in the oil and gas exploration in Nigeria and hence the sponsorship of the Oloibiri Health Project to give back to the Ogbia communities
“As part the centenary commenmoration of Shell’s oil prospecting activities in Nigeria, the Shell group in 2015 committed to a novel $5 million health project in Nigeria. This initiative gave birth to the ‘Oloibiri Health Programme, (OHP)
“OHP is a three year social investment initiative named after the Oloibiri Community in Bayelsa.
“It aims to improve health and healthcare within the Ogbia LGA in a holistic way, beyond treating illnesses but including access to potable water , sanitation and education.
“OHP achieved upgrade and integrating health facilities, training and supporting local healthcare and community workers, ensuring a reliable supply of medicine.
“It also aims at improving social determinants of health by galvanizing economic activities through the Live WIRE programme and building a knowledge/research centre in Ogbia LGA,” Ovwigho.
According to her, the support of 100 people in the Ogbia Special LiveWIRE programme, an income generating intervention is one of the components of the $ %million OHP.
40 of the 100 beneficiaries were uneducated marker women while 30 graduates and 30 school leavers.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Ms Patricia Nicholas applauded SPDC for the support with business management skills and start-up capital and urged the oil firm to extend the gesture to more beneficiaries.
Speaking earlier, Chief Benson Agadaga, President of Ogbia Brotherhood, a Socio Cultural group applauded SPDC for the support to 100 entreprenuers and urged the beneficiaries to create more jobs to impact the larger society.
He noted that Ogbia Communities had enjoyed social amenities like roads in the past but noted that the company needs to step up its social support to its host communities.
“We appeal further to SPDC to deploy its expertise in power generation to the benefit of these and other people in Ogbia communities with electricity to help these and other businesses to thrive,” Agadaga said