Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN) including Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC), Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) and Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) have contributed in various ways to the development of the economy. Besides contributions through payment of taxes and royalties, among others, they have also through their social investment projects, helped to impact in positives ways the lives of their host communities and Nigerians. In their 2020 Shell Briefing Notes – an annual scorecard of the Royal Dutch oil giant, they listed what they did in 2019 and beyond as responsible corporate citizens.
Nigeria is a thriving and vibrant country, offering opportunities for people to improve their livelihoods. These opportunities are mirrored by the scale of the challenges to provide affordable energy, education, healthcare and conditions for local businesses to grow.
To enable the citizens attain these goals, Shell has in various ways under its social investments initiatives, created projects that helped Nigerians and communities to grow.
In its 2020 Briefing Notes, the oil giant said its operating arms in Nigeria – SPDC, SNEPCo and SNG, in 2019, made direct social investments of $40 million in Nigeria, making the country the largest concentration of social investment spending in the Shell Group. These investments, the company said, include access to affordable healthcare, supporting education, enterprise support, accelerating access to energy, assistance and safety.
The Shell Nigeria Briefing Notes gives update on activities and programmes undertaken by several Nigerian companies either wholly-owned by Shell or in which Shell has an interest. Together these are referred to as the Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN). SCiN comprises SPDC – a wholly-owned Shell subsidiary that operates an unincorporated joint venture (SPDC JV) in which SPDC holds a 30 per cent interest; two other wholly-owned Shell subsidiaries SNEPCo and SNG, and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited; an incorporated joint venture in which Shell has a 25.6 per cent interest.
SCiN undertakes two types of social investment activities – Direct social investment across Nigeria and Community-driven development programmes and initiatives in the Niger Delta. Direct social investment focuses on community and enterprise development, education, community health, access-to-energy, road safety and biodiversity, which was added in 2018. Community-driven development programmes and initiatives in the Niger Delta focus on various themes as determined by benefitting communities and delivered through a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU). There are 39 active GMoUs in Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers States. According to the Brief Notes, Shell Companies in Nigeria have invested in healthcare and education initiatives in Nigeria for decades and they continue to support a range of programmes.
In 2019, three new GMoUs were deployed and 10 GMOUs renewed. The GMoUs provide a secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice. GMoU projects cover community health, education, enterprise development and social infrastructure, such as improved water and power supply, and sanitation. Since 2006, a total of $252 million has been disbursed to communities through these GMoUs.
It also noted that since 2010, more than 27,000 babies have been delivered safely at Obio Cottage Hospital, a secondary health care centre in Port Harcourt, while the Community Health Insurance Scheme was also launched in 2010 at the Hospital.
In 2018, Nigerian Yolo Bakumor Smith, CEO of De-Rabacon Plastics, won the first-ever Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators Awards for his business. De-Rabacon is a Nigeria-based plastic recycling and waste management Solution Company that recycles end-consumer plastics to viable commercial products such as pavement blocks, buckets, cans, and carpets. “There is often a paper-thin line between success and failure in business, especially for a start-up. The training, support systems and valuable networks I have gained over the last five years courtesy of Shell LiveWIRE, have gone a long way to ensure that my business start-up, De-Rabacon Plastics is thriving.
“Shell’s approach to supporting local enterprises to grow and excel is enabling us to scale up our business and focus on designing eco-friendly, energy-efficient and affordable products. Today, my organisation employs 16 people and has recycled over 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste. We plan to achieve two million tonnes by the end of 2020,” Yolo said.
Access to affordable healthcare
Shell has supported community health programmes in Nigeria since the 1980s with equipment and pharmaceutical donations, emergency care and screening services, hospital maintenance and focused interventions on HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer and vision care. Currently, Shell seeks to increase access to health services, introduce health insurance schemes and strengthen health systems.
According to the Briefing Notes, Shell continues to work with key stakeholders to achieve universal health coverage by increasing access to health and the uptake of services in the communities. The SPDC Joint Venture (JV) and SNEPCo support 20 healthcare centres and signature intervention projects throughout the country, which include Health-In-Motion community care programme, Community Health Insurance Scheme.
Health-in-Motion (HIM) is a mobile health outreach programme that takes free medical services to where people live and work. Funded by the SPDC JV and SNEPCo, it reaches an average of 50 communities annually. In 2019, HIM services benefitted 27,490 individuals in Imo, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers and Ogun States. Since its launch in 2010, more than 667,000 people have benefitted from the programme.
The Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) is a partnership between SPDC, Rivers State Government and local communities. The programme aims to provide affordable, quality healthcare to the people of Rivers State. CHIS was launched in 2010 at Obio Cottage Hospital, a secondary health care centre, just a short walk from the SPDC JV offices in Port Harcourt. CHIS costs individuals $30 per year and covers about 95 per cent of people’s health care needs. Since 2010, more than 67,000 people have been enrolled.
In 2019, nearly 8,500 new clients registered. The hospital has also seen an increase in the uptake of services. For example, the average number of patients using the facility increased from about 600 at inception to about 7,700 per month in 2019, making Obio one of the most utilised health facilities in the region.
This successful pilot has now been expanded to three other locations including the Oloibiri Health Programme (OHP), highlighting the possibility for extended healthcare coverage in Nigeria.
The Oloibiri Health Programme is a Shell-sponsored local government initiative in the Ogbia area of Bayelsa State. It is designed to improve health outcomes in an innovative and holistic way. The initiative included a full refurbishment of the Kolo General Hospital, which was inaugurated in July 2019. More broadly, the initiative focuses on improving and maintaining health, not just treating illness. It strengthens local healthcare systems by upgrading and integrating facilities, training and supporting local healthcare and community workers and ensuring a reliable supply of medicines. The programme has seen increase in service utilisation to 4,210 patients in 2019 from an average of 833 patients in 2017. It has also provided training for over 130 health workers at community, local and state government levels. In addition to this, it has trained 117 volunteers as facility-based extension workers in house-to-house healthcare. To anchor the sustainability of the OHP, the initiative aims to establish the Oloibiri Health Foundation that will institute the Ogbia Health Insurance Scheme akin to the scheme in place at the Obio Cottage Hospital. The scheme will be launched with a one-time contribution from Shell and the Bayelsa State Government.
Since the 1950s, the Shell scholarship schemes have supported several thousands of students many of whom are among Nigeria’s business, political and social leaders. In 2019, the SPDC JV and SNEPCo invested $7.8 million in scholarships. Since 2011, the schemes have awarded more than 9,400 secondary school grants and over 6,000 university grants to students. The SPDC JV and SNEPCo invest in the Cradle-to-Career scholarship programme, which pays for children from rural communities to attend some of the country’s top secondary schools. The SPDC JV has awarded a cumulative 600 Cradle-to-Career (c2c) scholarships in the Niger Delta. In 2014, SNEPCo began offering these scholarships to applicants across the country, and so far, 471 students have benefitted. Since 2010, more than 1,000 students have received scholarships. The scholarships cover the full cost of tuition, travel, accommodation, uniforms, books and laptops.
For the best tertiary education, Shell invests in advancing education through university scholarships, student exchange programmes and focused research. Since 2011, the SPDC JV and SNEPCo have awarded more than 6,000 university scholarships. As part of the drive to motivate students and reward the high performers in the University Scholarship Scheme, the highest-achieving students are then also given the opportunity to participate in the SPDC JV Students Industrial Work Experience (SIWE) programme. The SPDC JV also established the Shell Niger Delta Post Graduate scholarship programme which has benefitted 92 students from the region over the last decade. The programme offers one-year scholarships to three UK universities for studies related to the oil and gas industry. The SPDC JV, in collaboration with the University of Benin, funds a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering and in 2017, collaborated with the Rivers State University to set up a CoE, which specialises in Marine and Offshore Engineering. By the end of 2019, over 75 students had graduated from the programmes and over 81 per cent of these graduates are currently employed.
Shell works to improve the chances for Nigerians to achieve their ambitions. In addition to providing access to loans to small and medium businesses which could become Shell suppliers and contractors, there is also the LiveWIRE youth enterprise development programme. LiveWIRE was launched in Nigeria in 2003 and provides training and finance to young people between the ages of 18-35 to start or expand their own businesses. In 2019, 140 people benefitted from the LiveWIRE programme, receiving training in enterprise development and management, as well as business start-up grants. More than 7,000 Nigerian youths have so far been trained under the programme and almost 4,000 young entrepreneurs were provided with business grants. Two Nigerian enterprises were shortlisted in 2019 for the Shell Global Top Ten Innovators Awards – a global competition, which highlights and rewards businesses that demonstrate excellence in innovation as well as giving entrepreneurs a chance to shine on a global platform. The enterprises were FarmToJuice and Foods Nigeria Limited and Basiled Energy Ventures. FarmToJuice produces juices, processing any waste into livestock feed and using a biogas digester to provide energy. Basiled provides solar lamps, solar installation maintenance and repair and solar battery recycling services.
In 2014, Shell extended LiveWIRE to Ogoniland despite the SPDC JV no longer producing oil and gas in the area. Shell’s aim was to help raise living standards and reduce crude oil theft in the area through the promotion of sustainable alternative livelihoods. This was in line with one of the recommendations of the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report for the restoration of the Ogoni environment. In 2018, 100 Ogoni youths from communities near the Trans Niger Pipeline participated in training with 80 top performing trainees receiving business start-up funding amounting to more than $90,000. In 2019, the Ogoniland programme gave way to a livelihood programme led and executed by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), an agency established by the federal government and to which the SPDC JV contributes funds. The programme will train 1,200 Ogoni women in various skills.
Every year Shell LiveWIRE supports thousands of individuals to access the knowledge, skills, networks and resources to turn their business ideas into successful enterprises which provide a sustainable income, create jobs and drive innovation. The purpose of LiveWIRE is to improve opportunities for young people to realise their potential through the creation and development of their own businesses.
For many years, Shell has sustained a culture of care by supporting humanitarian programmes in Nigeria to save lives, especially during crisis and disaster. In 2017, a contribution of more than $3 million to the Mercy Corps and Family Health International programme benefitted over 70,000 displaced persons in north eastern Nigeria. In 2018, SPDC provided relief materials worth $1 million to communities hit by floods in the Niger Delta and two other severely impacted states in the country. In 2019, SNG continued to demonstrate its commitment to road safety in Nigeria by extending existing collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps in Ogun State to Rivers State. The campaign has held 26 road safety awareness events and reached more than 5,000 people since its launch in 2007. SNG also held a one-day hydrocarbon training for firefighters from Abia and Ogun States to further strengthen their capability.
Since 2018, SPDC and SNEPCo have committed $6 million to the government-driven strategic intervention projects for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Yobe and Borno States. The projects focus on immediate relief and critical support development related to health, water and sanitation, education and shelter.
Access to energy
Shell aims to provide a reliable electricity supply to 100 million people, primarily in Africa and Asia by 2030. Nigeria features in that vision. Despite its oil and gas resources, Nigeria has one of the highest levels of energy poverty in the world. In addition to investing in Nigeria’s gas development and distribution network, Shell has established All On to boost off-grid supply to homes and small businesses in the Niger Delta. All On, an impact investing company, became operational in 2017 and is an independent Nigerian company that works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services. In December 2019, Shell made a significant additional long-term financing commitment to All On.