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Shell Inaugurates Oloibiri Health Centre In Bayelsa To Commemorate Oil Discovery

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) inaugurated the Oloibiri Health Centre in Bayelsa on Thursday as part of activities commemorating the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in the community.

Oloibiri is the community in which Nigeria discovered oil in commercial quantity in 1956.

Speaking at the event, SPDC’s Managing Director, Mr Osagie Okunbor, said the community occupied a pride of place in the history of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

He added that this necessitated the conception of the Oloibiri Health Programme (OHP).

Okunbor said the OHP depicted three broad objectives.

“It was in Oloibiri that Shell made Nigeria’s first commercial quantity discovery of crude oil in 1956.

“That discovery is what has positioned Nigeria as a key player, providing energy to the world, wealth to the country and abundant opportunities to the Nigerian people.

“The relationship between SPDC and Bayelsa since that discovery has grown with the expected footprints of our operations and social investments spread across the state.

“Amidst this growth, Oloibiri remains the reference point for Nigeria’s oil and gas journey.

“It is in this light that the Shell group, as part of marking Nigeria’s centenary celebrations in 2014, conceived and began the implementation of the OHP.

“The OHP is to serve as a reference point in Nigeria for sustainable primary healthcare delivery,’’ he said.

He added that the OHP is a multi-phased programme with several stakeholders as partners.

“The partners include the Bayelsa Ministry of Health, the Ogbia Local Government authority, the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa among others,’’ he said.

Also speaking at the inauguration, Bayelsa’s Gov. Douye Diri said the intervention by the SPDC complemented his administration’s strides in the health sector.

He applauded SPDC for the gesture and urged other oil firms operating in the state to emulate the company by replicating the project in the two other senatorial districts of the state.

Diri urged Oloibiri people to take the health centre project seriously and to ensure that they put it to use for the betterment of humanity.

“Let me appreciate SPDC and its partners for also prioritising healthcare in the state by initiating the OHP.

“This is a laudable development. It will go a long way in complementing steps and policies we have introduced to meet the health needs of our citizens in Ogbia Local Government Area,’’ the governor said.

In his remarks, King Charles Owaba, the Paramount Ruler of Ogbia Kingdom, urged Shell to increase efforts to ameliorate the adverse impact of oil exploration on the environment and on the people.

(NAN)

 

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