By Oscarline Onwuemenyi
ABUJA- Chevron Nigeria Ltd, CNL, on Friday announced the launch of the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, PIND, to advance its new developmental initiative to address some of the socio-economic challenges in the Niger Delta region.
The Chairman and Managing Director of CNL, Mr. Andrew Fawthrop, who made the announcement at the launch in Abuja, explained that the foundation was a unique and innovation way to build partnerships with national and multinational donors, and exploring a broad range of new socio_economic development opportunities throughout the Niger Delta.
According to Fawthrop, “The initiative is a new five-year, $50 million programme established by the Chevron Corporation to build innovative partnerships with national and international organisations to address some of the socio-economic challenges of the Niger Delta region.
“In doing this, we recognise that the issues of poverty and peace remain the defining challenges of the 21st century. PIND’s approach to work in collaboration with other partners offers the opportunity to develop dynamic new solutions for the development challenges faced by the Niger Delta region,” he explained.
He further said that, “PIND is the benchmark in Chevron’s approach to help deliver better social and economic outcomes in places where we operate. The focus on building multi-stakeholder partnerships distinguishes our collaborative approach to help alleviate challenges facing the Niger Delta today.”
According to him, activities to be covered by the Foundation and to be implemented in any of the nine states of the Niger Delta, include an economic development programme for commercial agriculture and small and medium enterprise development.
Others are capacity building programmes to strengthen local government agencies and civil society organisations, peace building programmes to foster stability and reconciliation in the region, and analysis and advocacy programmes to identify socio_economic need and develop strategies to address them.
He noted that, “Chevron has been doing business in Nigeria for nearly 50 years now. Throughout this period, the company has always sought to achieve its business objectives in a way that develops its employees, benefits the communities in its areas of operation and supports advancement of local businesses.
“The company is mindful that the advancement of its business interests is fundamentally linked to socio-economic development of and peaceful co-existence among the communities neighbouring its operations. It is for this reason that we seek to stimulate sustainable development in all the areas we operate across the globe.
The PIND Project Director, Mr. Dennis Flemming, stressed that although the initiative is directly funded by Chevron, it has been established at arm’s length from the oil and gas behemoth, with its own offices and staff and a majority of independent trustees.
“PIND will also establish its field office within a new Economic Development Centre it plans to construct in Warri, Delta State. This centre will support many of the programmes PIND will fund throughout the region.
“The establishment of PIND is yet another demonstration of the Chevron’s commitment to building productive, sustainable and beneficial partnerships,” he added.