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Bayelsa Govt. seeks more investment from Shell

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Bayelsa government has urged Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) to contribute more to the standards of living in the state by investing more in energy and infrastructure development.

Mrs. Abimbola Essien-Nelson, Media Relations Manager, SPDC, in a statement on Thursday quoted Bayelsa deputy governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as making the call during a business meeting with the company’s management in Port Harcourt.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that SPDC first struck oil in commercial quantities in Nigeria at the Otuabagi community within the Oloibiri fields in Bayelsa in 1956.

SPDC had 2015 divested its equity interest in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29, and the asset was acquired by an indigenous firm, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd for $2.4 billion.

However, the company retains gas gathering infrastructure across Bayelsa that feeds the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas for export.

“The relationship between Bayelsa State and SPDC is cordial. Thank you for your investments in our state.

“Thank you for your contributions to support development efforts in the state. But how do we improve on this and bring dividends to our people? There is still so more to unearth in our state.

“This meeting is to see how we can work together to create a suitable environment for SPDC to operate and generate value for all of us,” Ewhrudjakpo said.

He said the state government was ready to partner with Shell to expand its portfolio in Bayelsa to reduce unemployment, youth restiveness, and drug abuse.

He said the state had recorded a huge success using sports to keep youths away from vices particularly drug abuse and violent crimes.

According to Ewhrudjakpo, Bayelsa youths have shown that if we encourage them, they could deliver good value.

He said the state finished in the 3rd position at the last National Sports Festival in Edo even as the government also organizes the annual

Bayelsa Wrestling Classic to encourage more youths in the state to embrace sports.

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Essien-Nelson also quoted the Managing Director, SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, as pledging the company’s support for the government’s efforts to improve the environment in Bayelsa.

“It means that there is a plan. As a company, we key into your vision because we know that if you are successful it will help us and help our business environment.

“We commend you and His Excellency, Governor Douye Diri, for what you are doing to support business in Bayelsa State,” Okunbor said.

Okunbor was represented by an SPDC Director and Head, Corporate Relations Nigeria, Mr. Igo Weli.

He commended the Bayelsa government for the successes in sports development strides in the state.

The Bayelsa Government delegation included the Chairman of the State House of Assembly Committee on Sports, Hon. Tare Porri; Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Baraladei Igali; Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Dr. Ebiere Jones; and Director of Sports, Braveman Wodi.

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