Impact On Your Areas Of Operations, Diri Tells Oil Companies

……Approves 400m for Completion of Ogbia Referral Hospital

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called on oil companies to give back to their communities where they operate in form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Senator Diri spoke on Thursday at the official commissioning of the Oloibiri Health Programme, Phase Two, in Oloibiri, Ogbia Local Government Area.

While commending  Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for fulfilling its social responsibility,  Diri urged others to emulate the gesture and impact positively on their areas of operations.

The governor described the project as significant and inspiring, noting that it has opened the possibilities of replicating it in other senatorial districts in the state.

He acknowledged the importance of the programme to the health sector, stating that the overall aim is to improve the quality of life of the people.

The Bayelsa helmsman also encouraged the SPDC  to expand the programme to other parts of the state, adding that, the achievements recorded under it showed that development could be achieved when companies partner with the government.

The governor approved N400m for the completion of the Ogbia Referral Hospital.

Diri, who  described Oloibiri as a historical community being the birthplace of the Ijaw hero, Isaac Boro and the first place oil was discovered in commercial quantity, advised the beneficiaries to protect the project for their benefit.

“This CSR policy of SPDC is a deliberate one, and we will encourage them to extend it to other senatorial districts in Bayelsa State.

“CSR has become a standard business practice of our time However, too often, there are some companies that see CSR as a charity. Some others see it as a drain pipe of their profit. But this means giving back. What you have done today means you are doing very well. While you are there to make your profits, also remember that you have to impact the community and government and you have done that. I appreciate you for that.

“I want to mark this occasion as one with great significance and a momentous accomplishment because it opens the door to sustainable and expanding progress. It is thus, a pleasure to join all of you today at the inauguration of the Oloibiri Health Programme Phase 2.

“It is not only a transformative development project in the socio-economic life of the people of Oloibiri and Ogbia in general but an inspiring model of the vista of possibilities that can unfold when companies prioritise their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in partnership with government and the people of the state.

“This project does not stop with the delivery of health care. It is also investing in education, it is also investing in the social development of Ogbia and indeed, Bayelsa State. And in all aspects, to improve the quality of life of the people.

“It is a happy occurrence that Oloibiri from the very beginning has been taking care of the economic health of Nigeria. There is no gainsaying the fact that this was the place where Nigeria first became an oil-producing country. It is also not a coincidence that Oloibiri was where the hero of the Ijaws, Major Isaac Boro was born. So Oloibiri is an important historical community to the Ogbia people, Ijaw people and indeed Bayelsa State and by extension to Nigeria.

“I like to announce to you that I have just approved an N400m for the completion of the Ogbia Referral Hospital.”

Earlier, Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor, revealed that the Oloibiri Health Programme (OHP) is a holistic system which is aimed at changing the mode of medical delivery from health facilities, which includes the availability of drugs, human resources for health, electricity, water, sanitation facilities, amongst others.

According to him, three objectives which include; the promotion of universal health coverage to strengthen the health system in Ogbia Local Government Area and Bayelsa State in general, enhance social determinants of health that would lead to improved health indicators of communities within the LGA, institutionalise and share lessons learnt for replication.

The multi-phased  programme is a partnership involving several stakeholders such as the Bayelsa State Government, Ogbia LGA, Federal University of Otuoke, World Bank/ International Finance Corporation and Benefiting communities.

In his remarks, the Obanobhan of Ogbia Kingdom,  His Eminence Charles Owaba, described the programme aimed at delivering health care to the people in the area as a landmark achievement by Shell.

He appealed that the programme should be expanded to the Ayama clan in the local government to cater for the health needs of the people residing in that area.

The Obanobhan similarly appealed for the dualisation of the Edepie- Imiringi- Ogbia road, and the construction of the Yenagoa- Ayama – Okodi road amongst others.

Speaking on behalf of the Community, Ambassador Eric Aworabhi, thanked the partners for the success of the project.

The OHP comprised the Oloibiri Health Campus, 24 hours Primary Health Centre with an emergency unit, hybrid solar electrification system, Bayelsa State – Oloibiri Health Programme, Drug distribution centre Emeyal 11, the access road to Oloibiri Health Campus, etc.