Posted by News Express | 30 September 2017 | 1,931 times
Nigeria’s global player, the Nigeria LNG Limited, has restated its commitment to the building of a better Nigeria. Speaking on Thursday at the News Express 5th Anniversary Lecture held at Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja Lagos, the company’s General Manager, External Relations, Dr Kudo Eresia-Eke, said: “At NLNG, our vision is to help build a better Nigeria. So beyond providing value to shareholders, we see ourselves as a force for social good in Nigeria.”
Below is the text of his speech at the well-attended event that had as theme, “National Unity and the Restructuring Debate”:
“Permit me to begin with fraternal greetings from the Management and staff of Nigeria LNG. I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to the publishers of News Express for kindly extending this invitation to us. Please accept our warm congratulations on your fifth anniversary of playing one of the most important roles in any state — the role of telling the truth and helping to set the agenda for national dialogue and sustainable development.
“I am honoured to be in your midst to discuss issues of national importance.
“The importance of truth in building and maintaining peace and unity cannot be overemphasised. Perhaps, that is why this year’s anniversary lecture is focusing on national unity; in my view, this could not be happening at a better time.
“However, I believe the most unifying factor is making the lives of Nigerians better and generally improving their standard of living. There is nothing more critical now than making Nigerians live better. Today, I stand to be corrected when I declare that nothing can be more critical than giving every Nigerian child access to good healthcare, quality education for instance.
“We are all united by these national problems and we should be united in solving them.
At NLNG, our vision is to help build a better Nigeria. So beyond providing value to shareholders, we see ourselves as a force for social good in Nigeria.
“Driven by our core values of integrity, respect, excellence and care, we strive for the best in all we do. We essay to prove that Nigerians can be the best at anything, including sophisticated business.
“That is the mindset that drove Nigeria LNG to transform itself from a relatively small but ambitious project in the 1990s into the fastest growing LNG company in the world a few years after, producing and exporting some 22 million tonnes of LNG per annum and earning valuable foreign exchange income for Nigeria.
“We have for instance, generated over $90 billion in revenues as at 2015, paid a total of over US$5.5billion in taxes to state and local government, paid USD24 billion to Joint Venture (JV) feedgas suppliers from inception till date, with 55-60 per cent of this amount paid to the Federal Government of Nigeria via its shareholding in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; paid US$32 billion to shareholders out of which 49 per cent went to the Federal Government of Nigeria courtesy of its shareholding in the company, again via Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as well as over N51 billion to regulators’.
“Today we operate the world’s fourth largest LNG facility and Africa’s most expansive industrial complex, safely and reliably with a workforce that is more than 95% indigenous and 100% Nigerian senior management team.
“As a force for social good, we naturally take Corporate Social Responsibility seriously, focusing on impact on the very foundational structures that can improve the quality of lives of our people in the community and in the country.
“Just to mention a few. Only a few weeks ago, Nigeria LNG Limited signed a tripartite agreement in Abuja with the Federal Government and Julius Berger to construct the N120 billion Bonny Bodo road, which will connect several communities in the state. NLNG is counter-funding this project with N60 billion. The 34-kilometre road will certainly improve the quality of lives of the countless Nigerians, and open up critical parts of the Niger Delta hitherto accessible only by sea. Some of the direct beneficiaries would include Bonny, Ogoni, Okrika, Eleme, Andoni, etc. The project, easily the biggest CSR initiative ever in the country will ease the hazards of commuting between the locations, improving business and commerce and making life more livable for potentially millions of Nigerians.
“In the same spirit, recently a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Bonny Kingdom for the economic development of the Kingdom over a 25-year period. In that MOU, NLNG committed N3 billion per annum. Cummulatively, N75bn in 25 years to the community of Bonny. The number of direct and indirect jobs and the improved quality of life on the island that this project will engender excites the imagination. We believe that following a masterplan already developing, we are working with the community on the way to creating a mini-Dubai out of Bonny.
“In Rivers State, we have touched the lives of so many youths through the Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), launched in 2014 as a sustainable development initiative aimed at youths within NLNG’s host communities. Over 700 youths from various host communities have acquired skills on different vocations through this scheme.
“Outside Rivers State, in 2007, NLNG responded to a chronic supply shortage of LPG in Nigeria by embarking on a Domestic LPG Supply Scheme. Under this scheme, NLNG has currently executed 21 Sales and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) with domestic off-takers and has committed to supplying up to 350,000 tonnes of LPG to the Nigerian market annually. Today, NLNG is the main source of cooking gas to Nigeria.
“In 2013, a contract between Samsung Heavy Industries, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and a subsidiary of NLNG, Bonny Gas Transport, was signed to build six (6) new vessels at the cost of US$1.6billion. Included in the contract was a Nigerian Content element which secured the training of over 600 young Nigerians in ship building and repairs. We earned ourselves a name as the first Nigerian company to incorporate some local companies in Nigeria in the construction of the vessels. Nigerians companies, like Nexans KabelMetal, Berger Paints, Paints and Coating Manufacturers Nigeria and Metec West Africa, became involved, supplying cables, paints and anodes valued at over $10million.This was all in our bid to drive Nigerian content into the project. These companies have since then been exporting their products to different parts of the world.
“NLNG also launched a N1 billion Local Vendors Financing Scheme (NLVFS) in partnership with five commercial banks to provide NLNG registered vendors with easy access to funds at very competitive rates to help them meet contractual obligations as part of its commitment to Nigerian content development.
“At NLNG, our resolve to support the development of science and literary scholarship in the country is demonstrated through the Nigeria Prizes for Science and Literature which we endowed in 2004. The prizes are among the most prestigious in Africa and are each worth $100,000 each in prize money.
“In 2014, we also flagged off a University Support Programme (USP) to help develop engineering education capacity in the country. NLNG spent $12 million ($2 million each) on the construction or rehabilitation of engineering laboratories, equipped with cutting-edge equipment in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University of Port Harcourt, University of Maiduguri and University of Nigeria, Nsukka. These facilities are world-class and therefore well positioned to enable the development of engineering education and help bring the universities at par with their peers world-wide. We are delighted to add that all the projects have been completed, commissioned and are being put to good use by the various institutions.
“Other initiatives worthy of mention include fundamental infrastructure for building the city of Bonny as agreed in the MOU of 1998 signed with the community for:
“Provision of 24hrs electricity, pipe borne water and paved roads on Bonny Island. These have long been delivered making Bonny the only city in Nigeria with 24 hour power supply.
Construction of roads, schools and Health Centres over 120 communities
Establishment of a Maritime Centre of Excellence in the Niger Delta, that provides world-class maritime consultancy, training, research and business development.
“We have provided Post Primary, Undergraduate and Post graduate scholarships to over 3,000 students.
“We established an accredited London City & Guilds centre in Nigeria – Bonny Vocational Centre, which promotes technical and entrepreneurial skills training for hundreds of community beneficiaries. The centre is recognised as both a Vocational Enterprise Institution (VEI) and an Innovation Enterprise Institution (IEI) by the Federal Government – easily the best of its kind in this clime.
“Surely if a single, relatively young company could do all these and more not listed here in such a short time in Nigeria, surely we all collectively can do far more to transform our nation into the reality of our dreams.”
•NLNG GM, External Relations, Dr Kudo Eresia-Eke, speaking at the News Express 5th Anniversary Lecture.
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