The Niger Delta is created by the River Niger, as it drains out into the Gulf of Guinea
and the Atlantic Ocean. It is 70,000 km2 of a diverse and luxuriant ecosystem consisting
of mangrove swamps, wet tropical forests and freshwater forests. It is one of the
biggest Delta areas in the world.
The region is spread across nine Nigerian states - namely Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Imo, Edo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ondo and Abia States. It is home to over 40 ethnic groups and 30 million people, making the Niger Delta one of the most densely populated areas in the country.
We are committed to protecting the region’s ecological and demographic diversity.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – defined by the United Nations in 2015 as part of the UN 2030 Agenda – are cardinal values that guide Eni in all its activities in the Countries where it operates. Some of these principles – including ensuring access to reliable, affordable and clean energy, promoting sustained, inclusive and diversified economic growth, protecting, ensuring access to health services and to education, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems - have been implemented by Eni in the host communities in Nigeria for several years.
Eni operations in Nigeria span both the onshore and offshore areas of the country. Its onshore operations, carried out through its subsidiary the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), are located across 4 States in the Niger Delta, namely Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers, with a footprint in over 300 communities within these States. As a socially responsible company, NAOC treats every one of these communities – whether they are ‘host communities’ i.e communities hosting important NAOC facilities, or ‘transit communities’ ie communities traversed by NAOC’s network of pipelines – as important stakeholders in its operations.
Over the years, therefore, NAOC has promoted local development in its areas of operation. In recognition of this, the company was recently awarded the Sustainability in the Extractive (SITEI) Conference 2019 Community Engagement Award. NAOC has contributed to the improvement of socio-economic conditions in the communities it operates in by promoting initiatives in the areas of health, education, access to energy, infrastructural development, capacity building, and agricultural development, consistent with several key UN sustainable development goals. Community investments like these have helped to enhance trust between the company and local communities, and to strengthen the company’s social license to operate. This synergy is ensured by the fact that, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 17 (Partnership for the Goals), all the company’s social projects are negotiated and defined with the active collaboration of the local communities themselves. This is assured through the instrumentality of a mutually defined agreement reached between the company and the community. Up till 2014, this agreement was known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs). It was signed with individual communities, and set out the company’s CSR obligations to the signatory community over a period of four years. However, since 2017, NAOC began phasing out the MOU, and replacing it with the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU). With GMOUs, communities are grouped into clusters, based on history, affinity, proximity, clan, Local Government, and State Government. They are administered through a Community Development Board (CDB) for each Cluster, which comprises of representatives of the Communities, NAOC and very crucially the Government as well.
The benefits of this updated approach to community engagement include:
In the transitory period between the MoU and the GMoU models, NAOC continues to execute Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) in its communities to maintain the pace of development.
Eni subsidiaries in Nigeria operating offshore - NAE
and AENR - also share in the company’s corporate philosophy
of being socially responsible, and promoting the quality of life and the socio-economic
development of the territories in which the company operates.
Therefore, even though these companies do not operate on land, or within communities, they carry out significant social investments in the Niger Delta and the country as a whole.
NAOC’s investment strategy in the area of healthcare aims to make health services available to less privileged populations. Over the years, we have worked to improve water supply and sanitation facilities through the provision of many water-related projects and ensure the availability of drinkable water to Niger Delta Communities.