Lagos - Osagie Okunbor, the Managing Director, Shell Group of Companies in Nigeria, on Sunday said that the group spent no less than $195.5 million on social investments in the country in 2015.
Okunbor, who is also Shell Country Chair, disclosed this in an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos.
He said the amount made Nigeria the largest concentration of social investments spending in the Shell Group.
He said that $145.1million of this amount was paid to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as required by law.
"Another $50.4 million was expended on social investment projects by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Limited operated by Joint Venture and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo)."
According to Okunbor, these spend-levels have not come about by accident.
"Shell and its partners believe they can make a real difference in the lives of Nigeria, and we have targeted our investments at the community and enterprise development, education and health.
"Of course, we cannot take the place of government but we are keen to play our part in the development of a country we've been part of for more than 50 years," he said.
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The country chair said that the Shell Group would continue with its contributions to developing the country's human and contracting capacities.
He said that $900 million had also been spent on local contracting and procurement.
According to Okunbor, ownership of key assets such as rigs, helicopters and marine vessels is a key focus of these efforts to support Nigerian community contractors.
He said that Shell Companies in Nigeria were also actively involved in the development and utilisation of natural gas, pioneering its production and delivery to domestic consumers and export markets.
"Although, the SPDC JV's market share of domestic gas has reduced through a series of divestment since 2010.
"This has enabled Nigerian companies to play a more strategic role; Shell companies still remain a crucial part of the national gas energy mix.
"For example, our Afam VI Power Plant alone contributed 14 percent of Nigeria's grid-connected electricity in 2015, thus consolidating its achievements since the first power in August 2008.
"Another entity, Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG), supplies natural gas to 87 industrial customers," he said.
He highlighted crude oil theft, illegal refining and insecurity as the key challenges the group faced in 2015.
According to Okunbor, Shell Group is constantly monitoring the security situation of its operation areas in the Niger Delta and is taking all possible steps to ensure the safety of its staff and contractors.