Intels pledges sustained expansion agenda
Despite various economic challenges especially in the oil and gas sector, Intels Nigeria Limited, concessionaire of Onne Free Trade Zone (OFTZ) has pledged to sustain ongoing expansion scheme.
The resolve, according to the company, is expected to impact positively on its operations and that of 150 firms operating within the maritime facility.
Providing update of its operations, Intels explained that critical infrastructure such as world acclaimed Liebherr crane has either been deployed or enhanced inline with global standard.
Besides, the company explained that through its parent company, Orlean Invest, the Onne Port Multi Centre (OPMC) and other strategic infrastructure are now in place inline with its multi-purpose status.
Speaking through its head of administration, Chibuisi Onyebueke and Deputy General manager, Government and Community Relations, Orleans Invest, David Alagoa, the company said ongoing expansion agenda are geared towards enhancing status of the Free Trade Zone as a one stop shop for stakeholders.Besides, the company said plans are underway to construct an Airstrip to enhance existing helipad.
Meanwhile, Intels said partnership with host communities is to strengthen in the interest of all stakeholders.Under the arrangement, the oil and gas logistics firm has set aside an annual budget of N3 billion for Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) as part of measures to sustain peaceful coexistence with host communities.
Speaking at an interactive session with Journalists during a facility tour, Alagoa said the company interacts directly with 18 host communities located in five states.Prominent among the communities are Onne and Ogu in Rivers State.
To boost health care in the communities, Intels has deployed mobile clinics to provide primary health care for the host communities.Also, ultral-modern market with 65 locks up shops (34 up and 31 down) has been constructed at Onne waiting for unveiling.Alagoa explained that the company would continue with its community relation activities.
He said the company was making itself part of host communities by investing in the health of the people, sports, road construction, providing job opportunities, capacity building, among others.
Intels explained that projects are mutually agreed upon in the interest of host communities.Under its capacity building initiative, 191 students are trained every year while the Women Empowerment Project Scheme Synergy has been strengthened.
He explained that Intels CSR scheme increased over the years due to inherent growth recorded.Onyebueke said: “The airstrip will complement the helipad. We have acquired that land and about clearing and fencing.”On challenges, he added: “We run on generator 24 hours. We are not connected to the national grid despite repeated assurances from various government agencies.
“We consume 100,000 litres of diesel a day. This is the single largest and fastest growing free zone in the world. People say this place is secured but security doesn’t come cheap at all. The United States Coastguards were here and they come yearly to re-certify us. We operate international standards”.
On interaction with host communities, Alagoa said: “We deal with recognised structures. We deal with community chiefs and youths who have government backing. Decisions are mutually taken between them and us. We don’t impose projects on them. We often go back and forth but at the end, we achieve what is mutually accepted.
“When you train one man or woman and that person is gainfully employed, the person also touches the lives of those who depend on him or her.
Giving further clarification on the proposed airstrip, Onyebueke said the project would be located at Eleme in Rivers State.
According to him, the airstrip would facilitate the movement of oil executives to Onne, adding that Intels was partnering the Lagos State Government to ensure that light planes could fly from the proposed Lekki airport to Onne and vice-versa.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry, Trade and investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah has pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to support industrial firms operating in the country