Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), has been operating in Nigeria’s exploration space for over five decades. The International Oil Company (IOC), is the third largest oil producer in Nigeria and one of the IOCs that has invested tremendously in terms of social intervention projects.
As part of its social intervention project, Chevron partners with the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU) in Lagos, to train journalists and communication professionals. PAU School of Media and Communication (SMC), has a major obligation, which is to train members of the fourth estate of the realm and Communication professionals in Advanced Writing and Reporting Skills (AWAReS).
In SMC, journalists and communication experts are nurtured and further enhanced in their writing skills to report objectively. The programme has been for a while and Chevron decides to choose PAU because it is an institution that stands for quality and excellence.
The greatest rival for investment is what its stakeholders expect and there can be no critical stakeholder than the media. Chevron reveres the media as a critical stakeholder. It is an evolution that the company understands as it gives its support. The multinational wants the media to build capacity.
Since the inception of SMC in PAU, Chevron has sponsored over 90 journalists that have been trained. This is an achievement the oil company has contributed in raising the standard of journalism especially in accurate reportage in Nigeria.
Participants and graduates of SMC in PAU, have become better journalists and communication experts with tremendous improvements.
Chevron takes its role as a corporate member of the society seriously and one of the key things that it focuses on, is human capital development which is very critical. The company as an institution, basically, is to produce oil but, it is also willing to extend its tentacles to make a difference in every community it belongs to, in doing this, it chooses human capital development as key element for investment.
Apart from producing oil, Chevron has other numerous social investments in the communities it operates. The company has a social investment which is an investment to ensure that the community benefits.
In terms of social impact assessment, the company assesses the impact of its existence on the community and environment. It looks at the impact of community in the company’s business. For instance, the Lekki Conservative Centre (LCC) managed by Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) is supported by Chevron. Before its support, the environment was like a virgin land. Presently, it has been developed. The company contributed immensely to keep a legacy which has impacted positively.
Chevron’s environment has also impacted on the company with ease of doing business. It engages with various stakeholders, government, legislative arm and traditional institutions.
On scholarship, through its social intervention project, many students have graduated with reasonable grades through Chevron’s support. The Agbami scholarship scheme has produced many graduates.
Health is not left out in the intervention process, the multinational has invested heavily on HIV/AIDS prevention with a River-Boat Clinic, a clinic on a boat that goes around riverine communities where it has its operational base in Escarvos, Delta state. It has been an encouraging outlets to provide medical services to local riverine communities who do not have access to medical facilities.
There is also malaria awareness campaign which transcends Africa. The company emphasizes on deworming with virile health infrastructures.
The IOC has other social interventions project like arts, sports and road safety campaign. The road safety awareness is to inform people on somethings they may consider inconsequential that could jeopardize their lives with fatal consequence. The company leverages on partnership to ensure that road signs are on the roads for utmost safety.
With regards to local community content, Chevron considers the aspect of its business which is derived from the local community where it operates with utmost priority. The company ensures that local content is localized so that those who share proximity with it benefit from its oil business.
Chevron flagship programme known as Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), is a multi-stakeholder articulate partnership model for community engagement and sustainable development. It is a direct intervention programme to enhance community-driven initiatives. GMoU provides avenue for communities to come into clusters and drive their development. The process has given room for political and leadership development. Most communities are using it as a negotiation tool with government. The communities are able to strategize with developmental plans on how it can correlate with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ministry of Niger Delta and other institutions.
The GMoU has given people a voice with enhanced plan on how to develop their communities including developmental projects that are needed in certain areas. Every community knows its needs and what benefits it. This has prevented wastefulness and effective management of resources. The communities administer their projects and provide facilities of economic importance while Chevron supports.
Before the GMoU initiative, Chevron was involved directly in community infrastructures which did not create value to the communities because some of the projects were over engineered. This has not been helpful to the would-be beneficiaries. Ever since the advent of GMoU, communities have been able to handle the process which has created a win-win relationship for Chevron and its hosts.
Another milestone of Chevron social intervention project is the science teacher initiative. To get teachers and National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members in rural areas had always been a challenge. Hence, there are no science teachers in some communities. Chevron through its intervention programme sought out teachers from NYSC, encourage them with incentives in order to close the gap in communities. It has been a tremendous support in most of the schools with the availability of science teachers.
In each state of Nigeria, the DeepWater, which is considered as a national asset, has an intervention programme that transcends the country without leaving any state behind. DeepWater programme has provided Chest Clinic, Science Laboratory, Electronic Library and other social intervention programmes in all the states of the federation including the north-east. The DeepWater intervention programme is making a national impact.
The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), another initiative from Chevron focuses on areas where the company might have some constraints. It has to do with larger issues in the Niger Delta beyond its area of operations. PIND addresses systemic issues such as: agriculture, capacity building and to ensure that Niger Delta is given a face lift in other areas.
PIND initiative has made Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) to partner with Chevron and through collaborative efforts, solutions brought to Niger Delta with positive impact.