Bonny Kingdom in Rivers State will receive N3 billion annually from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Limited under a new agreement signed between the company and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) which transfers responsibility of driving sustainable community development from the corporate organisations to the community.
As part of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed yesterday with Grand Bonny Kingdom in Rivers State, NLNG would make the money available through the Bonny Kingdom Development Foundation (BKDF).
The MoU sets the terms for the establishment of BKDF that will manage all the community developmental activities, supervise initiatives by NLNG and SPDC and implement a revised Bonny Master Plan in Bonny.
NLNG’s General Manager in charge of External Relations, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, said in a statement last night that the foundation would be funded by NLNG and SPDC.
According to the statement, the new MoU replaces a 1998 MoU signed by the companies, known as Joint Industry Companies (JIC), for the Kingdom to provide infrastructure and implement a master plan, which has led to the provision of power supply, good roads, portable water supply, and a vocation school.
The Amanyanabo of Ancient Grand Bonny Kingdom, King Edward Asimini William DappaPepple III, Perekule XI signed the new MoU on behalf of Grand Bonny Kingdom, in the presence of Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, Deputy Governor, Rivers State, and Hon. Benjamin Ibietonye, Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Bonny Local Government area.
During the signing ceremony at the palace of the Amanyanabo, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa, said the new MoU would change the approach of NLNG’s partnership with its host communities in a way that enables them take charge of their development.
“I am pleased to announce the following three tranches of contributions that NLNG will make annually, through the BKDF towards this vision: N1bn towards the operations and maintenance of ongoing educational and utility institutions; N1bn towards the developmental initiatives of the Kingdom as reflected in the Updated Master Plan; and another N1bn would be set aside as bonus to the community, which would only be released on the condition that there was a conducive environment to our businesses,” Omotowa said.
The Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, also said: “We’re delighted at the inauguration of the new MoU for Bonny Kingdom. The successes of the previous MoU should inspire all parties to accord the latest one all the attention it deserves. SPDC will play its part to make the MoU work for the benefit of all stakeholders in this ancient kingdom.”