8th November, 2023
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC has said it will work with International Oil Companies, IOCs, and other development partners to increase investments in renewable energy projects to reduce the impact of climate change in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by a delegation from TotalEnergies Nigeria Limited at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Commission’s Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, reaffirmed the importance of sustainable partnerships in driving the development process.
He observed: “Climate Change is real and the oil companies should help by reducing gas flaring and other forms of pollution. We need to protect our communities by investing more in clean energy sources. On our part, we are focusing more on solar energy to help in combating climate change.”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that the Commission had gone into a mutually beneficial relationship with the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries, OPTS, which incorporates the IOCs, by paying more attention to infrastructural development in their areas of operations.
Ogbuku underlined the need for sustainable partnerships that would benefit the people of the Niger Delta region, citing the partnership between the NDDC and the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation in building the Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State as an example of a successful collaboration.
The Managing Director said that NDDC would like to replicate that model with TotalEnergies, Chevron and other major oil companies, stating that more development would be achieved through partnerships.
The NDDC boss said the Commission was also focusing on capacity building of the youths through a new scheme known as Holistic Opportunities, Projects and Engagement, HOPE. According to him, “the project is designed for sustainability because it is data-driven. The project would create a database for youths, women, and entrepreneurs to enable us see clearly where their interest lies.”
Ogbuku said that the Commission was rebranding and doing things differently, hence its engagement of KPMG, a multinational business management consultancy firm, to provide advisory services on global best practices in corporate governance and Standard Operating Principles, SOPs.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of Joint Venture Assets, TotalEnergies Nigeria Limited, Mr. Obi Imemba, commended the NDDC for its role in the development of the Niger Delta region, stating that his company believes in partnerships as a critical factor in ensuring sustainability.
He declared: “We at Total Energies believe so much in partnerships which are in agreement with one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs. What you are doing in NDDC, is ticking the boxes around sustainable development goals, so we believe that we have a lot in common.
“Our goal is to provide the energy that the world needs. We started in oil and gas, and now we are providing energies in the form of solar, hydrogen, green electricity and others. We are here in Nigeria for the long haul, even though some IOCs are exiting Nigeria, that is not in our plan.
“Our focus henceforth is on sustainability and our sustainability programme is anchored on four pillars, which are climate and sustainable energy, care for the environment, creating shared values for communities and people’s well-being.”
Imemba said that TotalEnergies had made important investments locally in the renewable energy sector and implemented several initiatives that were already impacting the Nigerian energy landscape positively.
He noted: “In recent years, our projects have been targeted at driving down our greenhouse gas emissions; and pursuing a zero-flare principle on all our new projects
Imemba stressed the need to protect the environment from activities leading to further pollution and urged private and government organisations to diversify their means of producing energy.
He stated: “We are providing renewable energy in TotalEnergies and we are encouraging people to diversify their energy means, moving from the conventional fossil to renewable energy. we should bring hydrocarbons that have less carbon emissions.”