Africa’s biggest gas export company, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has struck an accord with host Rivers State government in stabilising the operating environment to ensure enhance business operations.
Under the partnership, the gas liquefaction and company has mapped out robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) budgets for its various host communities in exchange for peaceful, secure and stable business environment.
The partnership which was announced during the official ground breaking ceremony for the company’s corporate head office in the state comes after disputes over the company’s involvement in a dry dock investment planned for Badagry, Lagos State.
Community interests had demanded that the robust maritime facility which is expected to create thousands of jobs and business opportunities be sited in Rivers State where NLNG has its operations base.
But NLNG has sustained explanations that it only helped attract foreign investors in the project but does not have influence on the choice of project location.
Thus with the decision to build a corporate head office in Rivers State and subsequent partnership with the state government, NLNG might be assuring its host communities that it has a long term business interest in the area.
Spokesman of the company, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke stated in a media release that the partnership would ensure protection of its staff and assets as well as the provision of a peaceful business environment for continued and successful operations in the State.
He quoted the Managing Director, Mr. Babs Omotowa, as saying that NLNG needed the cooperation of the state government to be successful in its business, adding that community hostility would hamper the ability of the company to meet market obligations and consequent revenue dividends to share holders and government.
He said the company was forging a unique partnership with government for the purpose of delivering economic dividends to Rivers State and Nigeria.
“Today, by this ground-breaking to erect our new head office, we make an unequivocal statement, that Nigeria LNG Limited is a partner with the people of Rivers State in the sustainable development of the state and its people.
Our resolve in 2010 to relocate NLNG’s head office to Port-Harcourt right next to its support base was and still is a business decision. It made good business sense to be in close proximity to our world-class plant located across the river in Bonny.
It also made sense to be closer to the people and over hundred and ten (110) pipeline communities whose activities have a direct impact on our company’s ability to deliver liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids (NGLs) to many locations around the world,” he added.
“We continue to support the government in building capacity and empowering its people through various scholarship awards across secondary and tertiary levels of education and, more recently, through our support for the University of Port Harcourt to upgrade its engineering laboratory.
The upgrade comes at a cost of $2.0 million,” he sated. “In Bonny, where we have our plant, we have signed a tripartite agreement with the state government and building contractors to earmark N4.5billion (four and half billion Naira) towards the construction of model secondary school that will be equipped with modern equipment and apparatus for teaching young minds.
– Sopuruchi Onwuka