By Ismail Aniemu
With sustained corporate social responsibility and investing over N30bn on host communities in 10yrs,Integrated Logistics Limited (Intels) stands out as Nigeria’s leading terminal operator adding lives to people and environments
Concessionaire and one of the leading shipping logistics services providers at the Onne Free Trade Zone, in Rivers State, the Integrated Logistics’ Limited (INTELS) has consistently kept touch with its operating environment.
The company recently revealed that in the last 10 years, it has spent an annual average of N3 billion on Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) on host communities in various areas of the South South region.
According to Isidore Sambol, the company’s spokesperson, recent reduction of workforce caused by present economic realities is a temporary setback that the company will overcome.
With a track record of pioneering private port investment in Nigeria ahead of the Bureau of Public Enterprises and Nigerian Ports Authority concession regime,Integrated Logistics Limited (INTELS), obviously saw positive future the nation’s ports were headed.
The company is a core investor in the concession of major oil and gas Free Trade Zones in Nigeria and has consistently raised the living standards of its host communities in parts of Onne, in Rivers State, Warri in Delta State and Calabar in Cross Rivers State.
Aside employments for competent and disabled members of its host communities, Intels has impacted on the people through empowerment and creating an increased sense of self reliance that adds value to society.
General Manager, Government and Public Affairs and head of Community Relations, Mr. David Alagoa said said recently that “At Intels, we see every of our host community as a partner in progress and this policy has guided Intels to a robust community relations template and activities.”
“Within the areas of operations of Intels in the Free Zone and other parts of the country, we have about 28 communities as our host in our five states of operations in Nigeria”. He said the CSR policy of Intels is guided by the mission statement which according to him is “to create an environment in which the host communities and the company become fundamentally interdependent; where understanding is mutual and confidence grow together”.
Alagoa said the company has plans to begin the development of Air Strip so that chief executives of companies doing business seamlessly with ease in the zone.
With the airstrip facility, top business executives can fly in from anywhere do their transactions and return with ease skipping airport hassles and delays associated with transiting from Omagwa in the heart of Port Harcourt to Onne.
The land for the airstrip facility, according to our investigations has been acquired and all necessary approvals are being processed with relevant government regulatory agencies.
He said Intels currently seat on a concession deal with the federal government to provide shipping related logistics for firms in the Free Trade Zone(FTZ) in the next 25 years.
Already, Intels has developed over 981 blocks of flats for residential purposes and also a 5 Star hotel for businesses. There is also an ultra modern conference centre with adjoining Presidential Suite for international summits and retreats.
Statistics have shown that Onne FTZ is now the fastest growing FTZ in the world and has expansion spaces that will extend the 3KM stretch of anchorable coastline.
The sea port is divided into two including Federal Lighter Terminals (FLT) and Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) which are designed and delivered to give tailored services for oil and gas firms in the complex.
According to Alagoa an Integrated Participatory Approach (IPA) has been the guiding philosophy of the company in its relationship with host communities over the years.
It pursues a drive of teaching people how to fish rather than always offering to give them fish.
The company annually employs about 50 graduates from host communities. Another focus area includes empowerment. It has a yearly programme by way of professional training for about 190 adults from the host communities with the target of self reliance and stability.
There is also a yearly scholarship scheme for 250 students from host communities. Still on empowerment, Intels currently runs a world class Women development centre, called Women Empowerment Project Scheme Synergy (WEPSS) where volumes of operational wear and overall are tailored to precision by the women in the complex.
The manager of WEPSS, Mrs. Dorcas Ekong was quoted in some statements as saying that “currently more than 50 women are undergoing training at the complex and for now, the centre is in the habit retaining graduates so as to boost mass production of industrial overalls, operational coats and other forms of cloths. She said the production line is segmented in order to maintain demand and sustain better management of resources.
There is also Mini-Sports Stadia in majority of the communities to push up local talent development. Alagoa also added that the third policy on CSR is infrastructural projects development and delivery for host communities.
He explained that every project for communities are idealized by the community, delivered by Intels and guided by the community for safety and good use.
In other host communities in Rivers State, Intels has set up Solar Panel street light, and built ultra modern markets for the agrarian communities. There is also centre for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in some communities including Rumokurushi, in Rivers State and Ikot Ansa in Cross Rivers State and also neighbourhood water project in Amadi-Ama.
The company also refurbished Eleme Craft centre in Rivers State and Ogbe-Ijoh community in Warri Delta State. Alagoa however disclosed that the four policy keys driving the successful CSR history of Intels include dialogue, socials, open-door-policy and accessibility.
Managing Director of Intels Nigeria Limited, Mr. Marko Miskovic revealed that since the Intels started doing business at the Zone as the lead concessionaire, Intels have invested well over $8.1billion in the development of Onne Free Zone specifically for oil and gas development logistics but regretted that the zone is yet to be hooked up to the national grid.
Statistics show that the entire complex burns not less than 100,000 litres of diesel to power its various activities on a daily basis.
Sambol also said that Hope House Initiative, an organization that caters for children with special needs would spend N6 million on the provision of a home economics laboratory, multi-sensory educational materials for skills improvement and the replacement of obsolete play ground equipment.
A few months ago, Intels contributed N1 billion for the rehabilitation of the East-West road in Port Harcourt, out of the N3 billion needed for the job.
Perhaps the restiveness and dearth of basic infrastructure bedeviling the South South region would have long been addressed if every company operating and making gains from the region willingly gave back to the people and their environments.