Frontier Oil operates a unique community development model that has resulted in excellent relations with our host communities and has been widely evaluated and commended by industry players. Working with ProNatura International Nigeria (“PNI”), Frontier Oil launched a 5-6-year Participatory Community Development Programme (“CDP”) in 2007 which led to the creation of two Community Development Foundations (CDFs) that are wholly managed by indigenes of the host communities and funded by the Uquo Joint Venture.
The CDP was adopted and successfully deployed by Frontier Oil and PNI in the Uquo Marginal Field since 2007. The CDP process is an all-inclusive bottoms-up process which starts with an Entry and Inception Phase; followed by a Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) phase; a Development Planning phase; an Institutionalisation phase; and finally, a Programme Phase which runs for a minimum period of 5 years. The end product will be a Community Development Plan (CDP) with well-articulated bottoms up intervention projects and programmes which will be executed by an empowered, sustainable and functional Community Development Foundation with a Constitution, Governance Structures, Board of Trustees, community-elected Governing Assembly and a professionally manned and managed Secretariat responsible for the day to day administration of the CDF.
The participatory nature of this unique model has ensured that the communities that Frontier Oil operates in become partners in development. It also encourages trust and makes for transparent negotiations which led to the signing of an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Frontier Oil and representatives of the communities.
The first phase of the Participatory Community Development Programme ended in 2013 and we are now in a second phase which is aimed at improving capacity building and ensuring the CDFs are self-funding.
FOL has also championed another MOU between the Frontier, Universal & Network (FUN Group) JV with the Ibeno Local Government Area host community.
The CDFs operate independently, to initiate, execute and manage the implementation of the various development projects identified and prioritized by the host communities within the framework of the CDPs. The CDFs are, in turn, managed by elected representatives of the people and other key interest groups. There is one foundation for each of the Local Government Areas of Eket and Esit Eket.
To prepare their operating plans and ensure that the foundations were in step with the needs of the community, PNI s carried out a needs analysis through which 6,000 interviews were conducted with indigenes from 60 communities in the two LGAs. This needs assessment resulted in 60 mini-development plans that are currently being implemented across both local government areas; working on projects such as local capacity and skills development, employment creation, healthcare delivery, access to education, and physical infrastructure. This unique model has been commended by various operators in the sector, as well as government and regulatory bodies such as the Akwa Ibom State Government, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Shell, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), etc.
The CDFs created have taken ownership of and are managing the implementation of various development projects identified and prioritized by the host communities in the following intervention areas: Skills Development; Employment Creation and Income Generation Opportunities; Improving Access to healthcare; Improving physical accessibility to the communities; and Improving Education.
Across different projects, the CDFs have made major achievements in developing both human and infrastructure capacity in the area. Some of the achievements include:
- Training >880 youths across the two host community LGAs in various skills and assisting them to set up their own businesses which have, in turn, resulted in the employment of many others;
- Employed (skilled and unskilled) over 1100 during the seismic campaign of 2006/7 and more than 830 host community youths for the Uquo Central Gas Plant construction project
- Executed a 10, 000-litre mini water project in 13 host communities locations;
- Built and equipped 2 ICT Training Centers with internet capabilities in the two CDFs to train ~240 youths annually;
- Established internet café in one of our CDFs to improve community access to information;
- Renovation of science laboratories and provision of science equipment to secondary schools in Esit Eket LGA
- Commenced work on a planned micro-credit scheme for women in the Eket & Esit Eket LGAs
- Commenced scholarship scheme for 100 students (Secondary & Tertiary Institutions) from the FUN Group host communities, -Ibeno LGA
In addition to a focus on community development, Frontier Oil always makes provision for host community youth in its manpower recruitment exercises. To date, the Uquo Project has provided employment for more than 1,500 youths across multiple construction operations projects.
FOL complies strictly with all relevant laws of the country and adheres to the international best practices in all aspects of our business. We offer full disclosure at all times to all relevant agencies as required by law. FOL also abides by the labour laws by ensuring that indigenes of host communities are employed directly and indirectly in all areas of our operations, and also demanding that contractors and sub-contractors also align with local content requirements as wells as the Memorandum of Understanding in place with our host communities. As statutorily required, FOL makes an annual presentation of its community development/relations report of activities to Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (previous owners of the Uquo Field) and the Department of Petroleum resources (DPR) and the feedback has been consistently very good.
Esit Eket Community Development Foundation: Case Studies of the CDF Skill Acquisition Programme
The Skill Acquisition Programmes (SAP) of Esit Eket / Eket CDFs is gradually yielding its desired objective of building capacity and creating employment opportunities for the youths of the area. Monitoring and evaluation report of the programme revealed that a total of 880 beneficiaries have completed trainings from various skill areas including:
- Desktop Publishing
- Aluminium Fabrication
- Auto Mechanics
- Catering and Hotel Management.
- GSM phone Repairs
- Pipe Line Welding
- Electrical Installation
- Computer maintenance
- Rewinding of Coil
- Industrial Safety
- Fashion Designing
- Hair Dressing