Shell companies in Nigeria have emerged the best in Corporate Social Responsibility Innovation, and also the best in Sustainable Stakeholder Engagement at the 2015 edition of the Social Enterprise Report and Awards (SERAs) held in Lagos on Friday. In addition, Dr. Uwem Ite, of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), was named Nigeria’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practitioner of the year. The awards aim to recognise corporate bodies who invest in society through CSR programmes.
Reacting to the awards, Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, said, “While the SERAs and other awards encourage us and our Partners on our CSR programmes, the real encouragement for us are the lives that have been transformed through these initiatives, which is why we will continue to implement the programmes as part of our business in Nigeria.”
Shell companies in Nigeria were among 62 corporate bodies assessed by a panel of experts drawn from the United Kingdom, the United States and Nigeria. The panel based their assessment on the outcome of field visits and verification of data. For the CSR Innovation award, Shell (along with its Joint Venture partners, NNPC, Total and Agip) was lauded for the support of students of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Benin and University of Lagos to build energy-efficient cars for the Shell Eco-marathon competition in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The support also enabled the University of Benin students to race at a similar competition in South Africa in 2014 where their car, TukeTuke, won the best designed car award.
Shell won the Sustainable Stakeholder Engagement award mainly for the introduction of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) model in 2006. Agreements for 40 GMoU clusters covering 387 communities in the Niger Delta had been signed as at the end of 2014. In naming Dr. Ite as CSR Practitioner of the year, the panelists recognised his pioneering contributions to corporate social responsibility. Shell was nominated in a total of nine categories – Poverty Reduction, Community Involvement, Health Intervention, Partnership for Development, Labour Practices, and Sustainability Reporting.
Bayo Ojulari, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, who received the awards, said: “The recognition through the SERAs represents a vote of confidence in our efforts to help improve lives in the Niger Delta and Nigeria. Shell has been operating in Nigeria for more 50 years and began their CSR intervention in Nigeria with a scholarship programme well before Nigeria attained independence in 1960. The awards are a challenge for more innovation which Shell and its partners will continue to strive to meet.”
Shell has won the SERAs in many categories since they were instituted in 2006. Every year, Shell Companies in Nigeria undertake various social investment projects, focusing on community and enterprise development, education and health. Much of this is done in partnership with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). In 2014 alone, Shell-operated ventures contributed $202 million to the NDDC as required by law. Some $112 million was directly invested by the SPDC JV and SNEPCo in social investment projects. Collectively, this makes Nigeria the largest concentration of social investment spending in the Shell Group.