An indigenous oil and gas firm, Green Energy International Limited (GEIL), has endorsed a fresh Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ikuru Town Community, which hosts its operations in Rivers state.
The deal forms part of the N3 billion initiative which began since it started operation in 2015, that specifically aims at implementing projects and economic empowerment of the indigenes through educational and health interventions, employment of youths, human capital development, patronage of indigenous contractors among others.
The firm which is the operator of the Otakikpo marginal field, expressed optimism about a better deal with the host community just as it reiterated its commitment to the development of the community having successfully negotiated and signed the new MoU with them.
The MOU signing ceremony was witnessed and endorsed by representatives of Rivers State government, from the ministry of chieftaincy affairs and community development.
The MoU encompasses the establishment and funding of development projects through the Ikuru Town Community Development Trust Fund (ICTF) which will midwife projects and programmes to empower the community, reduce youth restiveness and promote inclusion of women and vulnerable groups.
Chief executive of the company, Professor Anthony Adegbulugbe, said the renewal of the MoU agreement underscores the commitment of the company to build on its earlier successful implementation of projects and economic empowerment of the indigenes , through educational and health interventions, employment of youths, human capital development, patronage of indigenous contractors running in excess of N3 billion among other initiatives since it started operation in 2015.
He reiterated that “the MoU is a significant milestone for GEIL and Ikuru Town community. It secures the necessary funding that is available to expand its social investment programmes to provide infrastructure, reduce unemployment, build capacity for women, access to community contractors and contracting, technical training and unlock further value at Otakikpo. We are pleased to be working with the Ikuru Town Community and other stakeholders”.
He said that the gas-to-power project for which the company has 6 Megawatts capacity generators on site would be pursued vigorously, adding that Covid 19 pandemic coupled with the downturn in the oil and gas business in the last 24 months had slowed down the implementation of projects.
“The newly signed 5-year MoU covers a comprehensive operational structure that identifies key stakeholders who will act as sustainability drivers that would support the Ikuru Town community to plan and undertake implementation of projects based on their development priorities and agenda; an approach that is yielding noticeable improvement in our social performance interface.”
The company confirmed its intention to conclude power project and the installation of the LPG extraction plant and power plants in the next few months in Otakikpo which is intended to open a whole new vista of interlinked, multi-level and multi-sectoral development investments, with potential socio-economic and technological impacts, running from the local to global levels.
The MoU is structured by the JV and communities to take advantage of this business development through the provision of 15 per cent of all LPG and Diesel produced by the JV from the LPG plant and the crude oil refinery and made available to credible distributors from the host community.
There is also provision of electricity to communities directly from the JV’s facility, subject however to existing regulatory framework for power distribution mechanism by the legally approved government distribution agency.
The company will also under the MoU collaborate in providing water to the community. Also, the MoU identifies various development phases and project ratios necessary to capture community groups including women and vulnerable people through the development of community development plan (CDP) that reflects the needs and aspirations of the Ikuru Town people and jointly implemented by the Trust fund.
In his remarks after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the paramount ruler of Ikuru town, King A. M. Ikuru appreciated the joint venture of Green Energy and Lekoil Oil and Gas Investment Ltd for the development strides witnessed in his domain since the commencement of their operation.
According to him, the operator has continuously supported the community in all facets of the community transformation through sustainable programmes both in the community and Andoni.