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FG inaugurates multi-billion Naira Oil, Gas Park in Bayelsa

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…to create 2000 jobs

By Samuel Oyadongha

THE Federal Government has commenced the construction of a multi-billion naira Oil and Gas Park in Emeyal I,  Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, with the goal of creating a regional low cost manufacturing hub that would be utilized in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The oil and gas park project, the second of its kind in the country, which is sited on 25 hectares of land, is being undertaken by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). It is projected to provide direct employment for 2,000 when completed.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony on Friday at Emeyal I in Ogbia council area, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr.  Ibe Kachukwu said the project would be completed within its time frame.

He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari completely believes in the project. He thanks you for the audacity of hope and the challenge to develop and self-help and the cooperation you give to NCDMB.

“He has promised to do everything in his power to ensure that this is not one of such projects that are started and abandoned.

“The challenge most of my colleagues and heads of parastatals do have with me is that I don’t go to visit projects unless you can show me the tracks to completion. I don’t want to be one of those ministers who when they leave have lots of commenced but abandoned projects.

“I want to be one of those remembered for few completed projects. The Executive Secretary showed me the tracks to completion. My promise to you is that we will complete this project in record time.”

In his address,  the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, described the exercise as a great step towards achieving one of the board’s key mandates “to develop capacity of local supply chain for effective and efficient service delivery without compromising oil and gas industry standards..”

He said over 2000 new jobs are expected to be created when the park takes off. This, according to him, is different from the thousands persons who will be involved in the construction of the site.

“The project will positively impact Bayelsa State in general and Ogbia and its environs in particular. This positive impact will be felt both at the construction and operations stages of the project.

“Over 2000 direct jobs and another 3000 would be created here when the plant becomes operational so what the community needs to do is to partner with us and ensure a speedy completion of the work because we do not abandon projects.

“It is a multi billion naira project that will cause unprecedented growth and development in the community and beyond, it represents an achievement of a major milestone, to implement a project of this magnitude. This is the second of its kind in the Niger Delta and we are most committed to making sure that it is completed as at when due.

“It will create opportunities and develop capacity for local support chain, and boost the economy of the country because from here equipment, spare parts and more will be created that will be utilised in the oil and gas industry of Nigeria,” he said.

The NCDMB boss said it was important that the host community and the state government took ownership of the project by cooperating with the NCDMB, and the contractors that will be on site.

“It will create opportunities for youths in the community and the state as well as develop capacity for local support chain and boost the economy of the country because from here equipment, spare parts and more will be created that will be utilized in the oil and gas industry of Nigeria.

He added,  “we also want to ensure that the locals who are in the community are carried along because we shall make sure that they have capacity to work in the park when it is completed. It behooves on you (communities) to see us as your own and as partners in progress.”

Wabote however warned that construction of the project would be stopped, if youths and other interest groups in the community make unnecessary demands from the board which he said was not out to exploit their resources, but only building a facility that would provide training for those who would work as technical workers in the oil and gas industry in the country.

Also speaking, the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Barrister Kemela  Okara, who represented Governor Seriake Dickson, reiterated the the preparedness of the state to partner with the board to ensure a peaceful environment and speedy completion of the project.

He commended the board for initiating the project noting that would accelerate the state quest for industrialization.

In his remarks, the Obanema of Ogbia Kingdom, King Dumaro Charles Owaba, said the people of Ogbia where crude was first discovered in commercial quantity had waited for over six decades to see such project and would do every thing to protect it.

“Ogbia kingdom is peaceful and the project will not be disrupted,” he assured and called on the firm handling the project to engage the people in the construction and operation of the park.

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