- As China Marshall out $6.7bn to assist Nigeria attain food sufficiency
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) operated Joint Venture on Tuesday said it contributed over 29 billion dollars (N10.44 trillion) to the Nigerian purse between 2012 and 2016.
It however lost a whooping N3.34 billion to crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism in 2016 alone.
The Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor stated this in Lagos on the side-line on a review of Shell operations in Nigeria for 2016 and the presentation of the 2017 Shell Nigeria briefing notes in Lagos.
Stressing that Shell remained strongly committed to the development of Nigeria, Okunbor said that in 2016, royalties and corporate taxes paid by Shell companies in Nigeria to the Federal Government purse stood at 1.4 billion dollars (N504 billion).
“SPDC contributed $1.0 billion (N360 billion) while Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) contributed $0.4 billion (N144 billion) to government revenue.
“This is besides the energy which Shell companies contributed to the Nigerian economy with Shell-operated ventures in Nigeria recording an output of some 572,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2016,’’ he said, adding that the Shell Contractor Funding initiative was also expanded with eight participating banks committing about 2.2 billion dollars (N792 billion) to fund contract executed by Nigerian companies working for Shell companies in Nigeria.
He observed that from the inception of the programme in 2011, loans worth approximately one billion dollars (N360 billion) had been awarded to 220 small and medium-scale Nigerian enterprises with no recorded defaults on repayment, saying that Shell’s determination to support the monetisation of the nation’s huge gas resources actually led it to establish the Shell Nigeria Gas in 1998.
The Shell, he explained further is now supplying gas to about 90 industrial customers in Ogun, Rivers and Abia states.
“The gas is used for power generation and processing by industries for the manufacture of domestic products ranging from household consumables to household utensils and hardware.
“Shell companies in Nigeria paid special attention to the welfare of host communities, making Nigeria the second largest recipient of social investment spending in the Shell Group after the United States.
“Areas of focus include community and enterprise development, education, health, access-to-energy and since 2016, road safety.
“This is in addition to community-driven development programmes and initiatives delivered through the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) which target themes is determined by benefiting communities,’’ he also said.
He however lamented the activities of the pipelines vandals, stressing that the Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture (SPDC JV) lost over 5,660 barrels of crude oil per day in 2016 to crude theft.
The number of sabotage-related spills nonetheless, declined to 45, compared with 93 in 2015.
According to him, at an average crude price of 45 dollars per barrel in 2016, the JV might have lost N3.348 billion, equivalent of 2,065,900 barrels in 2016 at an exchange rate of N360/dollar.
“The 5,660 bpd lost to crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism was a significant achievement when compared to a loss of 25,000 bpd in 2015.
“The reduction in oil theft and sabotage-related spills from the previous year can be attributed to continued improvements in air and ground surveillance and response by government security forces.
He said that the companies would continue to work with the government and other key stakeholders on the security challenges in its operating environment.
“We look towards sustained and fruitful operations for the benefit of the Nigerian state and all other shareholders.
“Shell has been operating in Nigeria for more than 50 years and it is not by chance that we have remained deeply committed to the development of Nigeria.
“We are responsibly producing oil and gas in onshore and offshore as well as distributing gas to industries and producing liquefied natural gas for export,” he concluded.
In the meantime, hope of Nigeria achieving food sufficiency got a boost on Tuesday, as the Chinese Economic and Commercial Counselor, Mr Zhao Linxiang highlighted that his country will spend $6.7 billion to develop Nigeria’s agriculture, through training of hundreds of Nigerians.
Linxiang who made the disclosure at the China-Nigeria Agricultural Modernisation Cooperation Forum in Abuja, adding that China was ready to share its experience in agricultural development with Nigeria in order to transform the sector to enhance productivity.
‘‘China, the most populated country in the world and also the biggest developing country, has produced food for 20 per cent of the world’s population.
‘‘China and Nigeria are both major agricultural nations, having a strong complementarily in the field of agriculture development.
‘‘In the past 15 years, Chinese Government has provided agricultural training courses for hundreds of Nigerian candidates which has promoted the level of Nigeria’s agricultural development.
‘‘In 2016, we held the China-Nigeria Agricultural Technical Training Programme; 40 Nigerian officials and technicians got trained in Abuja on different agricultural innovations with good results.
‘‘We have also started training for 2017.
‘‘We are going to train 40 participants from all the 36 states, including FCT, on pest control, mechanisation, application of farm inputs and so on,” he said.
He assured that the Chinese Government would encourage Chinese companies to invest in Nigeria.
Linxiang, however, expressed the hope that the Nigerian government would provide them with better business environment and industrial policies.
On his part, Mr Zhou Pingjian, China’s Ambassador to Nigeria, said that China had been implementing 10 cooperation agricultural mechanisation plans with Africa after the Johannesburg Summit in 2015, stressing that his country was willing to transfer technologies and management expertise in agriculture to Africa, without any reservations.
Pingjian, however, expressed the optimism that the cooperation on agriculture modernisation between China and Nigeria would continue to serve as a pacesetter for China-Nigeria’s future agricultural cooperation.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, observed that mechanised agriculture remains the only way to go, in order to achieve food sufficiency in the country.
Mr Yakubu Buba, Chairman, Nigeria-China Relationship Commission, represented Dogara at the occasion.