The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on Thursday presented N32 million start-up capitals to 100 persons in Bayelsa who successfully completed a business management training organised by it.
Dr Akinwumi Fajola, Regional Community Health Manager, SPDC, said during the presentation of the packs in Yenagoa, that the gesture was to enable the beneficiaries engage in small businesses.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 40 of the beneficiaries are uneducated markets women and 30 are graduates while the rest 30 are school leavers.
According to him, the programme tagged “Ogbia Special LiveWIRE programme’’ is targeted at Ogbia Local Government Area where SPDC struck oil in commercial quantities at Oloibiri over 60 years ago.
Fajola represented by Mrs Ufuoma Ovwigho, Clinical Surveillance Lead, SPDC, noted that the programme was an income generating intervention.
The manager said the oil firm had spent $5 million to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of its oil prospecting activities in Nigeria.
She said that the company realised the historic value of Oloibiri in the oil and gas exploration in Nigeria, hence the sponsorship of the Oloibiri health project.
“As part the centenary commemoration of Shell’s oil prospecting activities in Nigeria, the Shell group in 2015 committed $5 million to a novel health project in Nigeria.
“This initiative gave birth to the ‘Oloibiri Health Programme, (OHP) which is a three-year social investment initiative named after the Oloibiri community.
“It aims to improve healthcare within the Ogbia LGA in a holistic way beyond treating illnesses but including access to potable water, sanitation and education.
“OHP achieved upgrade and integrating health facilities, training and supporting local healthcare and community workers, ensuring a reliable supply of medicine.
“It also aims at improving social determinants of health by galvanising economic activities through the Live WIRE programme and building a knowledge/research centre in Ogbia LGA,” Ovwigho said.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Ms Patricia Nicholas, applauded SPDC for the support, and urged the company to extend the gesture to more people.
Earlier, Chief Benson Agadaga, President, Ogbia Brotherhood, a socio-cultural group, commended Shell for the support and urged the beneficiaries to endeavor to create more jobs to impact the larger society.
Agadaga said that Ogbia communities had enjoyed social amenities provided by the oil firm such as roads in the past, urging it to provide more social support to the host communities.
He appealed to the company to provide electricity to the people to enhance the businesses of the beneficiaries and others. (NAN)