Shell has signed an agreement with General Electric for the implementation of a N1-billion health project as part of three initiatives to mark 100 years of nationhood by Nigeria.
The project which is phased over three years aims to provide affordable and quality health care delivery through a population-wide approach in Ogbia Local Government Area. Using a Health System Strengthening model, the project will involve the delivery of care through a network of four primary health centres and one general hospital. It will also involve the establishment of a health research centre at Oloibiri to disseminate best practice for replication.
A project steering committee has been set up comprising representatives of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), General Electric, Bayelsa State Government, Federal University, Otuoke and Ogbia Local Government Council.
“The Oloibiri project is one of the single biggest social investment initiatives we have undertaken in the Niger Delta and underlines our commitment to a better future for the people there.” said SPDC Managing Director & Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, at the signing ceremony in Lagos on February 11.
“We’re looking to see a holistic community health improvement in poverty alleviation, water and sanitation, safe/clean housing and household renewable energy among many others.” The incoming SPDC MD and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor agreed. “This is a game changer in the provision of health care in the Niger Delta.”
Lazarus Angbazo President & CEO General Electric, Nigeria, said: “We’re pleased to act as implementing partner on a project that will significantly touch lives and improve the lot of community people.” The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Health Dr. Ayibatonye Owei and the Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Otuoke Prof. Mobolaji Aluko pledged their support for the project.
Shell’s Regional Health Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. Femi Oduneye said: “The envisaged model will focus on health and not just illness and focus at the grassroots to reduce inequalities and ultimately increase life expectancy and quality of life. Our experience at Obio in Rivers State, where SPDC has successfully implemented a community health insurance scheme will be very useful here.”
The two other projects Shell is implementing to mark Nigeria’s centenary are a 200-seater library in Port Harcourt and upgrade of athletics infrastructure in five secondary schools in Delta State. All the three projects are estimated at N2 billion. Shell is implementing the library and health projects exclusively, and funding 30 percent of the cost of the athletics infrastructure upgrade through its share in the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) Joint Venture, with the other partners, NNPC, Total and ENI providing the rest of the funding for this project.