Integrating the host and impacted communities into the field development plans and programs of a producing oil and gas company is no longer news in the oil and gas industry. This has always been done under various models of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) using Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) and or Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoUs). Such intervention programs in the guise of CSR provide funds to execute both sustainable infrastructural development projects and human capacity development programs. These MoUs and or GMoUs operate more of a Benefactor and Beneficiary Models, where the Companies see themselves as bridging the gaps supposedly left open by successive National and State Governments.
In their attempts to carry out this “Benefactor Roles” to the Beneficiaries, the companies deploy various strategies which in most cases breed conflicts at various levels of intra community, to inter community discords, which we now see in youth restiveness to high level criminality and militancy.
It is in the midst of these confusions that Energia Limited developed its novel Sustainable Development Programs.
Energia Limited is the Operator of the Ebendo/Obodeti Joint Venture Fields in Ndokwa west LGA of Delta State of Nigeria in partnership with Oando Production and Development Company (OPDC). Energia's model which is second to none moved away from the Benefactor – Beneficiary Model to a Stakeholder and Partnership Model. It integrated the host and impacted communities through a Trust that cedes some percentages of the asset gross revenue to these communities. This Model, which can be conveniently called “Community Royalty”, is operated through Registered Trust Boards whose membership is drawn from the Communities, State Government and other Stakeholders in the society to formulate and implement sustainable infrastructural projects with the integration of human capacity development programs.
The Energia's model which is purely community-driven developmental planning, coupled with transparent governance can be adopted and used by other oil companies not only in Nigeria, but also in other oil producing countries in Africa as it lead to a considerable social investments, developmental projects and interactions. It may also be very relevant especially in a situation where traditional development approaches have failed and company operations are negatively impacted by local conflict and Government interest.
This paper will attempt to describe and explore the model, as well as program for training, capacity-building, governance, baseline studies and investment portfolio for the communities. Also, it will identify the benefits and shortcomings and recommendation on how to improve as to move from one level to another.