Shell engages N/Delta women on peace building

A cross-section of the women at the event

By Nathaniel Obruthe with Agency report

The Shell Petroleum and Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture has urged women in the Niger Delta to assist in promoting peace in their communities.
The SPDC General Manager, External Relations, Mr. Igo Weli gave the advice on Friday at the "2018 SPDC JV Engagement with Swamp West Hub Communities held in Warri, Delta.

The theme of the event was " Women Focus Open Forum: "The role of women in peace building".

Weil who was represented by Mrs Alice Ajeh, SPDC's Stakeholders Relations Manager said the clamoring for the return of companies particularly Shell to Warri could only be achievable if there is peace in the area.

"The women really need to work on peace building so that the companies will have the fate to come and invest more in the region.

"A lot of people have been clamoring for companies to come back, and  that can only happened if there is peace in the region and women can play a part.

" We recognised that women must play a part for any development we have for the region hence 30 per cent provision is made for the women in our Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with our host communities," he said.

Weli said SPDC could only effectively meet with their demands only if the company operates at maximum production adding that could only be achievable in a peaceful environment.

Also, Mrs Shola Daibo, member representing Warri Constituency (One) at the Delta House of Assembly urged the various ethnic nationalities in Delta to unit in order to attract meaningful development to the state.

"We should not fight one and another, we should embrace peace and also advise our children and husbands to shun illegal oil bunkering," she advised.

One of the participants, Mrs Lilian Igho said women have a big role to play in the peace building process in the Niger Delta and called for their empowerment.

"If the women are empowered, they will be able to guide their children in the proper manner.

" From what we have heard today, Shell gives 30 per cent allocation to women but at the end of the day, we will not see anything, that is the problems we are facing, " she said.

Also, Mrs Florence Okorodudu, Women Leader in Ugborodo community in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta said that women would continue to contribute their quotas towards peace building in the region.

"The oil companies should also try and provide jobs for the youth so that they do not indulged in pipelines vandalism and other illegalities," she said.

Earlier, Mr Richard Ziware, Community Development Board (CDB), Chairman in Egbema GMoU cluster while rendering his stewardship said N69 million has been set aside to empower the women in the cluster.

"We have seven communities in our cluster, we have spent a total of N522.3 million on projects since the GMoU commenced in 2013.

"We also have 267.7 million in our account while N69 million has been set aside for women development and the exercise will start in July," he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the women were mostly from the Ijaw Itsekiri and Urhobo ethnic nationalities.

Free medical services was offered to the participants.