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‘We Will Continue to Invest in Nigeria’ – SHELL

Shell will continue to invest in Nigeria “under the right conditions”, the Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu has said in Abuja. Mr. Sunmonu, who is also the Managing Director of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), said: “Shell will continue, under the right conditions, to invest in projects that would benefit the people. We are not doing this because we lack investment options. We are doing it because we believe in a strong and healthy nation.” He was speaking at the Leadership lecture series of IBB Golf and Country Club, Abuja, which was held as part of activities marking Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary.

Delivering a lecture titled:  “Investing in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector”, the Managing Director also explained the scope and philosophy behind investments made by SPDC and its Joint Venture partners (NNPC, Total, Agip).  SPDC, the oldest energy company in Nigeria, has developed a “long term and continuing commitment to the country, its people and the economy”, generating billions of dollars to help fund development and growth. Working along with NNPC and other international oil companies, SPDC has also made big investments in the oil and gas industry.

Mr. Sunmonu cited Gbaran – Ubie Integrated Oil and Gas development and Afam V1 power plant as two examples of recent investments that will further the development of Nigeria. Afam V1 power plant commenced electricity generation in October 2008, fed by gas from SPDC’s new Okoloma gas plant, while oil and gas production from Gbaran – Ubie began in July this year.  He said that, in addition to these investments, SPDC and its Joint Venture partners support and finance community development initiatives in the Niger Delta. In 2009 alone, SPDC and its partners contributed an additional $57.7 million directly to development projects – many delivered in partnership with others.

He said: “Last month, the UN Secretary-General invited leaders of the 192 UN member nations to a summit in New York, to discuss how to help the world’s poorest people. The poor are those without a voice. They're the ones without water, food, shelter, medicine, education. And they need help. In Nigeria, the government cannot provide all the help on its own. SPDC knows this and that’s why we place great importance on making a difference in the environment in which we operate.”

On the Golden Jubilee Anniversary, Mr. Sunmonu said Nigeria “has reasons to celebrate.” Nigeria holds nearly 10% of global proven oil reserves and about 8% of global proved natural gas reserves. But he said that, for Nigeria to continue to attract international investments, it needs to sustain confidence and stability and respect the sanctity of contracts.

He added: “I was delighted when President Goodluck Jonathan recently launched the ‘Roadmap for the Power Sector Reform’. The great majority of Nigerians want dramatic improvements in their quality of life, whether to have modern appliances, or simply to have electricity so students can study for a brighter future. More gas and more power will raise living standards, support sustainable economic growth and kick-start new industries.”

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Shell companies have operated in Nigeria for more than half a century. They pioneered the oil and gas industry there and bring a range of benefits to the country, its people and the government.