Posted by By Michael Faloseyi, Abuja on
Members of the Oil Producers Trade Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday that they had contributed N55.5billion to.....
Members of the Oil Producers Trade Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday that they had contributed N55.5billion to the Niger Delta Development Commission in 2006.
The group made up of the multinational oil companies operating in the country also appealed to the board of NDDC to ensure transparency in the disbursement of the funds by ensuring they are used for the purpose for which they are meant.
Oil companies are statutorily required to contribute three per cent of their annual turnover to NDDC to facilitate environment remediation and development of the host communities.
Speaking at a dinner held in honour of the outgoing/incoming members of the board of NDDC in Abuja, the Chairman of OPTS, Mr. Jacques Marraud des Grottes, said that projects executed with the funds should also be of world-class quality.
Grottes, who is the Managing Director of Total, gave a breakdown of the contributions made during the operating year as N23billion for infrastructure development, N10billion for education and N21billion for agro-allied business.
He said that other contributions include N7billion for health services and N6.3billion for capacity building initiatives.
According to him, “The amount provided by the OPTS in these five categories alone add up to about N55.5billion or 43 per cent of the total planned expenditure by the NDDC for these same categories.
“The nature of our industry is that an outlay of such amounts, in fact any amount, should be followed up to ensure that transparent processes are engaged in its disbursement and that the target projects, when achieved, are of world-class quality.
“The industry also would like to see that at least 60 per cent of the sums provided by its members are utilised for projects that are sited in the communities around which their members work,” Grottes added.
He said operators believe that “this is only fair and commendable because we accept that it is our collective responsibility to fight for the interests of the communities around where we work.”
The Total boss added that the operators were convinced that contributing to the development of the communities around where they operate was inherently noble because the partnership would ensure positive environment for normal operations.
The outgoing board member is Mr. Samuel Inyang and the new member is Mr. Daru Owei.
In his response at the occasion, Inyang commended the efforts of the oil companies in facilitating sustainable development through their contributions to NDDC and appealed the host communities to allow a peaceful operating environment.
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