Concessionaire and one of the leading shipping logistics services providers at the Onne Free Trade Zone, in Rivers State, the Integrated Logistics’ Limited (INTELS) has revealed that in the last 10 years, it has sunk an annual average of N3 billion on Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) on host communities in the area. NIGERIA BUSINESS HiLIGHTS was at Onne Free Trade Zone recently.
One of the key identities of corporate citizens across the world is the volume and value of Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) scheme implemented by the companies in their immediate host communities.
Integrated Logistics Limited (INTELS), core investor in the concession of major oil and gas Free Trade Zones in Nigeria has continued to raise the living standards of all their host communities scattered in parts of Onne, in Rivers State, Warri in Delta State and Calabar in Cross Rivers State.
Intels currently seats on a running 25 year concession agreement with the federal government to provide oil and gas logistics on the Free Trade Zones under its control.
Explaining more on how the presence of INTELS have positively impacted on host communities during a media tour of the communities in Onne, General Manager, Government and Public Affairs and head of Community Relations, Mr. David Alagoa said “At Intels, we see every of our host community as a partner in progress and this policy has guided Intels to a robust community relations template and activities.”
He explained that “Within the areas of operations of Intels in the Free Zone and other parts of the country, we have about 28 communities as our host in our five states of operations in Nigeria”.
He said the CSR policy of Intels is guided by the mission statement which according to him is “to create an environment in which the host communities and the company become fundamentally interdependent; where understanding is mutual and confidence grow together”.
Giving a further graphic details of new developments of Intels to step up oil and gas activities at the Free Zone, Alagoa said the company has concluded plans to begin the development of Air Strip so that chief executives of companies doing business in the zone can fly in from anywhere do their transactions and businesses and fly back with ease and no airport hassles.
He revealed that the land had been acquired and all necessary approvals are at hand. He said Intels currently seat on a concession deal with the federal government to provide shipping related logistics for firms in the FTZ in the next 25 years.
Already, Intels has developed over 981 blocks of flats for residential purposes and also a 5 Star hotel for businesses. There is also an ultra modern conference centre with adjoining Presidential Suite for international summits and retreats.
Statistics have shown that Onne FTZ is now the fastest growing FTZ in the world and has expansion spaces that will extend the 3KM stretch of anchorable coastline.
The sea port is divided into two including Federal Lighter Terminals (FLT) and Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) which are designed and delivered to give tailored services for oil and gas firms in the complex.
Alagoa added that Integrated Participatory Approach (IPA) has been the guiding philosophy of in relating with host comminutes over the years.
Giving details on how the fund is administered in other to get the best of result, another top Community Relations official, Mr. Chibuisi Onebueke said focus areas in Intels CSR campaign include employment. The company annually employs about 50 graduates from host communities.
Another focus area includes empowerment. Onebueke explained further that Intels has a yearly programme by way of professional training for about 190 adults from the host communities with the target of self reliance and stability.
There is also a yearly scholarship scheme for 250 students from host communities. Still on empowerment, Intels currently runs a world class Women development centre, called Women Empowerment Project Scheme Synergy (WEPSS) where volumes of operational wear and overall are tailored to precision by the women in the complex.
The manager of WEPSS, Mrs. Dorcas Ekong explained in an interview that “currently more than 50 women are undergoing training at the complex and for now, the centre is in the habit retaining graduates so as to boost mass production of industrial overalls, operational coats and other forms of cloths. She said the production line is segmented in other to maintain production order and better management of resources.
There is also Mini-Sports Stadia in majority of the communities to push up local talent development.
Alagoa also added that the third policy on CSR is infrastructural projects development and delivery for host communities. He explained that every project for communities are idealized by the community, delivered by Intels and guided by the community for safety and good use.
One of the projects site toured was the 10 Km concrete paving stone road and another 20 Km concrete drainage system in Onne and Ogu Communities.
In other host communities in Rivers State, Intels has set up Solar Panel street light, and built ultra modern markets for the agrarian communities.
There is also centre for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in some communities including Rumokurushi, in Rivers State and Ikot Ansa in Cross Rivers State and also neighbourhood water project in Amadi-Ama.
Some chiefs in the toured communities told journalists that Intels is also noted for its love for host community education programme as it has regularly renovated or out rightly reconstructed class rooms for several host communities.
The company also refurbished Eleme Craft centre in Rivers State and Ogbe-Ijoh community in Warri Delta State.
Alagoa however disclosed that the four policy keys driving the successful CSR history of Intels include dialogue, socials, open-door-policy and accessibility.
In an exclusive interview with Mr. John Ogba, a roadside welder and citizen of one of the host communities called Ogu near Onne during the tour, he expressed happiness, saying Intels has demonstrated high level of understanding in managing host communities in the Niger Delta.
This according to him is because the company is not in the habit of dashing out projects, but all project implemented by Intels are first of all idealized by the community and discussed on a round table by Intels and the particular community so as to maintain community acceptability after delivery.
Another indigene of Ogu community and a Cabinet Chief in the traditional council who could not give his name said Intels remains a testimony in CSR because the company has impacted positively in both infrastructural and human development of our town and that is why we cannot support any form of disturbance on the group.
Additional details from the Acting Managing Director of Intels Nigeria Limited, Mr. Marko Miskovic revealed that since the Intels started doing business at the Zone as the lead concessionaire, Intels have invested well over $8.1billion in the development of Onne Free Zone specifically for oil and gas development logistics but regretted that the zone is yet to be hooked up to the national grid. Statistics show that the entire complex burns not less than 100,000 litres of diesel to power the complex on a daily basis.