Of the amount, some $145.1 million was paid to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as required by law while another $50.4 million was directly expended in social investment projects by The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC)Limited-operated Joint Venture and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo).

“These spend levels have not come about by accident,” said Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, while briefing journalists in Lagos on operational highlights for 2015. “Shell and its partners believe they can make a real difference in the lives of Nigerians, and we have targeted our investments at community and enterprise development, education and health. Of course, we cannot take the place of government but we are keen to play our part in the development of a country we’ve been part of for more than 50 years.”

Shell Companies in Nigeria also continued with their contributions to developing the country’s human capital and contracting capacity, spending some $0.9 billion on local contracting and procurement. Ownership of key assets such as rigs, helicopters and marine vessels was a key focus of these efforts to support Nigerian and community contractors.

Mr. Okunbor said Shell Companies in Nigeria are also actively involved in the development and utilisation of natural gas, pioneering its production and delivery to domestic consumers and export markets. He said: “Although, the SPDC JV’s market share of domestic gas has reduced through a series of divestments since 2010, which enables Nigerian companies to play a more strategic role, Shell companies still remain a crucial part of the national gas energy mix. For example, our Afam VI power plant alone contributed 14% of Nigeria’s grid-connected electricity in 2015, consolidating its achievements since first power in August 2008. Another entity, Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG), supplies natural gas to 87 industrial customers.”

Mr. Okunbor highlighted crude theft, illegal refining and insecurity as key challenges in 2015. He added: “We are constantly monitoring the security situation in our operating areas in the Niger Delta and are taking all possible steps to ensure the safety of staff and contractors.”