The General Manager, External Relations, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Igo Weli, has said Shell companies alone contributed N338.12bn to the Niger Delta Development Commission between 2002 and the end of 2017.

Weli noted, in a statement on Sunday, that each player in the oil and gas sector was expected to contribute three per cent of its annual budget to the NDDC for the purpose of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

“Between 2006 and the end of 2017, a total of N14.86bn has been invested by the SPDC Joint Venture in the Global Memorandum of Understanding clusters in Rivers State, giving communities a highly-valued opportunity to decide and implement projects and programmes that have a lasting impact on people’s lives,” he was quoted as saying on Saturday in Port Harcourt at the 2018 edition of the Nigerian Society of Engineers Port Harcourt Branch Week.

Weli, who spoke on the role of the oil and gas sector in the infrastructure development of Rivers State, explained that the SPDC JV funding enabled 19 GMoU clusters in Rivers State to embark on projects covering health, education, water and power supply improvement, sanitation and infrastructure development.

He added that the success of the GMoU initiative proved what could be achieved when the government, international oil companies, communities and non-governmental organisations worked together for the common good.

According to the statement, under the terms of the GMoU, SPDC JV provides secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice, which are managed by cluster development boards under the guidance of mentoring NGOs.

On social infrastructure, Weli listed the N1.5bn ultramodern library donated by Shell to the state government to commemorate Nigeria’s centenary celebration and the establishment of a Community Health Insurance Scheme at Obio Cottage Hospital in Port Harcourt.