Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has announced a Global Memoranda of Understanding (GMoU) with host communities in Rivers State to enable them to take ownership and drive sustainable community development in partnership with the company.
The company said in Port Harcourt, that the strategy developed by it is a “win- win” for all partners involved.
The first phase of the new agreements would be with the community interest groups, comprising Ogbum-nu-Abali, Ubeta and Rumuji in Rivers State.
Under this framework, 10 clusters would ultimately be created to drive community-initiated projects through a foundation that would have a Board of Trustees, Steering Committees, and Community Trusts.
On its part, the NLNG said its role under the GMoU would be to provide funds for these clusters and also encourage them to seek additional funds from other donors to finance development initiatives in the respective communities.
During the signing ceremony, NLNG’s General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatayi-Williams, said the Company’s commitment to its vision of “being a global LNG Company, helping to build a better Nigeria” is driving its passion for sustainable relationships with its partners in the community.
Fatayi-Williams said the GMoU would give each community leverage over developmental projects unique to its own needs.
She said further that the agreements would contribute to changing the socio-economic terrain of the communities, providing jobs, and creating a conducive business environment for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
“We, at NLNG, are enthusiasts of participatory sustainable development where the community takes on a leadership role to drive its growth, with the support of NLNG. Each community will identify its development needs and work out implementation through partnerships and physical oversight of projects.
“We intend to mentor the communities through partnerships with non-governmental agencies and international development agencies to build capacity in managing projects and sustaining outcomes.
“The development of the communities by the communities and for the communities is a win-win strategy for everyone.
“It will re-build the basic value of shared responsibility and ownership of development initiatives, thereby ensuring that our hearts and minds are involved in the sustainable development of our communities.”
“We need to change the narrative on sustainable development in the Niger-Delta region and Nigeria as a whole,” she said.
Mrs Fatayi-Williams stated that the Company would continue to pursue sustainable development within its CSR framework, which hinges on four pillars: education, health, economic empowerment, and infrastructure development.
The GMoU, she said, would create a safe and peaceful environment for all stakeholders to thrive and meet both development and business goals.
The Commissioner of Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Rivers State, Sam Ejekwu, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ndu Alawari, commended NLNG and the communities for peacefully agreeing to the GMoU.
He stated that the GMoU was in the right direction for the development of communities in the state.
He described the GMoU as a partnership between the company and the government to drive sustainable development.
The GMoU shall cover NLNG’s operational-related activities and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes and projects, except for the NLNG post-primary, undergraduate and post-graduate scholarships, which are flagship schemes that support the company’s vision of helping to build a better Nigeria.
Phase two of the GMoU agreements, she said, would cover Amadi-Ama, and some communities in Ogba, Ekpeye, Kalabari, Egi, Abua, Okrika and Emohua.