The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has distributed USD 89 K in startup capital to 100 entrepreneurs in Bayelsa State after completing their business management training yet under the sponsorship of the company. 40 of the beneficiaries were market women, 30 were graduates and the other 30 comprised secondary school leavers.
The Regional Community Health Manager, SPDC, Akinwunmi Fajola, said that the gesture which was dubbed, ‘Ogbia Special LiveWire Program,’ was tailored for Ogbia Local Government Area of the state, where it struck oil in commercial quantities at Oloibiri more than 6 decades ago.
Fajola, who was filled in for by the Clinical Surveillance Lead at SPDC, Ufuoma Ovwigho, said that the oil firm spent USD 5 Mn to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of Shell’s oil prospecting activities in Nigeria.
According to him, the oil firm took note of the historical value of Oloibiri in the oil and gas exploration in Nigeria, tantamount to which they decided to sponsor the Oloibiri Health Project in an attempt to give back to the Ogbia communities.
Fajola said that the Shell group committed to a novel USD 5 Mn in a 2015 health project in Nigeria – an initiative that gave birth to OHP. OHP is a three-year social investment initiative named after the Oloibiri community in Bayelsa. The scheme aims to improve health within the Ogbia L.G.A in a holistic way, beyond treating illnesses but including access to potable water, sanitation, and education.
According to him, OHP achieved upgrade and integrated health facilities, training and supporting local health care and community workers, ensuring a reliable supply of medicine. The initiative as well aims to improve social determinants of health through the galvanization of economic opportunities by the LiveWire program, and building and research center in Ogbia.
Fajola revealed that the sponsorship of 100 entrepreneurs in Ogbia special LiveWire was one of the components of the OHP.
On behalf of the beneficiaries, Patricia Nicholas commended the SPDC for the support with business management skills and startup capital, urging the firm to extend the gesture to even more beneficiaries.