Oando Plc in conjunction with its Joint Venture (JV) partners, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), has commissioned road projects with drainage systems in its host communities in Imo, Rivers and Bayelsa states.
In Imo, Oando and its JV partners commissioned three road projects, specifically the Flora Nwakuche road, the Echina road and the Bishop Nwedo road, with drains in the Oguta community. Roads were also commissioned in the Ebgemo Angalabiri community, Ekeremore and in Etiema, Nembe in Bayelsa, whilst in Rivers, a 1.5km road was commissioned in the Aggah community, Onelga.
These road projects will improve access to and from the community, in the process spurring economic activities and growth and will improve the quality and standard of living of members of the community.
Speaking on the occasion, Community Relations Manager, Oando Energy Resources, Chief Sam Onyenwe said: “We recognise the importance of good road networks to the community and the economy at large. We are hopeful that the commissioning and handing over of these roads today will lead to an improvement in the transportation and delivery of goods and services. We are also hopeful that this will open up these particular communities to their neighboring communities and promote economic development.”
Oando and its partners have involved people of the community in the labor-based road construction and rehabilitation, providing much-needed employment. In addition, these infrastructural projects will have a multiplier effect within these communities, the most significant is the effect on transportation.
This contributes to Nigeria’s long-term inflation problem. The effect is lower consumption of goods and services, especially in rural areas. According to the World Bank, African regional trade can increase by $250 billion in five years by upgrading the primary road network connecting major cities and countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the same vein, communities will experience a rise in their standard of living as a result of the ease at which goods and services will be transported between communities. These communities are rich in agriculture and the roads will allow for easier transportation between the communities and the markets where the goods are being sold leading to an increase in opportunities and earnings for community members. There will also be a reduction in the cost of transportation between communities, as vehicles commuting through these communities will experience significant reductions in the cost of vehicle maintenance. Typically, poor roads lead to higher maintenance costs; which is then passed on to end users via increased public transportation costs.
The hope is that these roads will also make it easier for children to access educational facilities which are few and far-flung in these communities.
These road projects are one of many other infrastructural development projects Oando and her JV partners have embarked on in 2018, all with the aim of improving the local economy and promoting self-sustenance in its host communities. The company and its JV partners commissioned an agro-storage facility in the fishery community of Twon Brass, Bayelsa state at the start of the year. Since then, they have commissioned one project after another including, an NYSC Corpers Lodge in the Tuoma community in Burutu, Delta state. The lodge is to reposition the community to NYSC Corpers as a viable locale for imparting knowledge. The aim is for the lodge to lead to an influx of NYSC corp members who will serve in schools and the Local Government Secretariat transferring knowledge to community members.
In April, they celebrated the graduation of 275 Niger-Delta Community members through the Green River Project (GRP) Skills Acquisition Programme. A programme responsible for training over 35,000 farmers, within 120 communities in various vocational skills including seed distribution programs, farming, tailoring etc. More recently they commissioned a 20,000-gallon water scheme, which is set to provide water to over 5,000 members of the Agbere community. The water scheme is also set to ensure members of the community are free from water-borne diseases.
Speaking on the importance of Public-Private Partnership for infrastructural development the National President of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Bassey Edem, said: “The general impression of every Nigerian is that the Government should do everything, but that is no longer sustainable. The Government has several limitations in terms of funding and capabilities and is now relying on the organized private sector to be the engine of growth within the country. The private sector has a part to play in the development of any country. If members of the private sector with the capacity and funding partnered effectively with the Government responsible for policy, they could work together to create a new and improved Nigeria.”Source: The Nation