By Gladys Nweke
Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) says it spent a total of N350 million on 167 developmental projects in 2018, for its KEFFES host communities in Bayelsa State.
KEFFES is an acronym for eight oil and gas host communities along the coastline of Bayelsa State, namely Koluama I, Koluama II, Ezetu I, Ezetu II, Foropa, Fish Town, Ekeni and Sangana, all in Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas of the state.
Chevron’s General Manager, Government and Public Affairs, Mr Esimaje Brikinn, disclosed this at the 8th Annual General Meeting of KEFFES Rural Development Foundation in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Brikinn explained that rather than imposing projects on its host communities, the oil firm provided the funds while the benefiting communities implement projects based on their priorities. This looks like the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) that SPDC uses to deliver projects to communities, a system that allows community people to decide and execute projects within allocated budgets.
He also disclosed that Chevron runs a community-driven approach in meeting its corporate social obligations to its host communities in the Niger Delta region.
Chevron carries out community development under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) template that guarantees transparency and accountability.
Earlier, Chairman of KEFFES Rural Development Foundation, Mr Mathew Sele-Epri, commended Chevron for not relenting on its corporate social responsibility to its host communities, by keeping up with the provision of funds.
Sele-Epri disclosed that the foundation spent the funds at its disposal prudently, under the governance structure spelt out in the GMoU on infrastructure, non infrastructure and scholarships for hundreds of students.
He, however, lamented what he described as hostile attitude of the communities in Southern Ijaw and Brass towards contractors handling projects for the foundation, saying that such stifled development, delay project completion, and called for attitudinal change to pave the way for development.