Sustainability of Infrastructural Development Projects by Oil and Gas Multinationals in Niger Delta, Nigeria: The Case of Water Projects in the OML 58 Communities of Total Exploration and Production Operations
14 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2017
Date Written: November 30, 2017
Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) is in the business of Exploration and Production of hydrocarbons in Nigeria. These oil and gas activities are carried out in her host Communities. TEPNG had always demonstrated her corporate social responsibility citizenship to communities in her operational domain and beyond. This strategy earned TEPNG the number one position among oil and gas multinationals in Nigeria that had cherish good relationship with her stakeholders. Multinational developmental responsibilities are driven by Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR). The former operates on documented framework as working document while the latter is voluntary at the discretion of the operator. TEPNG had expended huge sum of money in the OML 58 Communities to establish and maintain infrastructure to enhance improved standard of living of stakeholders. The water projects in 16 communities attest to this claim. Surprisingly, there had been agitations for upward review of water maintenance contracts. This scenario had bedeviled TEPNG in the midst of increasing insecurity as a result of militancy activities. The youths had pitched tent against each cult group, a situation that had affected Multinational Oil and Gas activities in the OML 58. The crisis notwithstanding, the holders of maintenance contracts had continued to request for contract review. It appeared as information mis-match; hence it became imperative to assess the functionality of 16 No water projects at Obagi, Obukegi/Ibewa/Akabta, Obigbor, Ede, Ogbogu, Erema, Obite, Akabuka, Oboburu, Ohali-Elu, Amah, Egita, Obiozimini, Idu, Itu – Ogba and Obiyebe. The objectives of the study were to; Determine Functionality, Effectiveness, Sustainability and to justify Value for Money on OML 58 water projects. The study was also to identify the underlying critical success factors or otherwise that affected such infrastructural development project.
Methodology adopted considered volatility of the areas in terms of killings, kidnappings, armed robbery, rape and extortion regardless the presence of military personnel. Thus data was collected through questionnaire, personal interviews, personal observations, photography, security gap analysis, mapping / timing and informants. The respondents were women (mostly involved in the use of water for domestic activities), Youths (agitators for employment or ghost workers), chiefs / elders and the contractor maintenance staff. A total of 210 questionnaires were distributed out of which 160 (76%) were retrieved. Results emerged from descriptive statistical tools used in the analysis. Presentation was in frequency, percentage, pie chart, histogram and pictorials. Likert - type scale was used to quantify degree of Sustainability of OML58 communities’ water projects.
Results revealed awareness and acceptability of the project by respondents, though desired purpose had not been met due to irregular supply. Inconsistent power supply as occasioned by vandalization or stolen composite generating sets were identified as major reason. Non maintenance of the water projects was eloquent regardless payments made to indigenous local contractors. This scenario triggered wastages and flooding because the contractors took an average of 14 days to attend to identified faults. When functional, access was never an issue as 72% of respondents had access to water 7 times a week. Sustainability of water projects in the OML 58 became problematic as the project increased high dependency on TEPNG. A total of 60% justified value for money on the projects but there was zero return on investment (ROI). It was recommended that an alternate source of potable water through Mono pump in strategic locations of the communities was ideal to reduce constant vandalizations and stealing in water facilities. Maintenance contract of each water project should be awarded to Community Development Committee (CDC) of each community since they live within the project vicinity and could be reached in the case of faults. This was identified as employment creation opportunity that has potentials of transforming youths and discourages militancy and cultism. There was need to start utility payment on all water projects so that they could be self sustaining.
Conclusively, the project was adjudged partially functional, not effective and not sustainable. Utility payment would justify Value for money while re-awarding contract would require capacity building as change process to usher safe working environment for Total Exploration and Production operations in the OML 58.
Keywords: Increased high dependency, Militancy and Cultism, Mono pump, wastages and flooding, Water Project maintenance contract
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