The Federal Government plans to develop multi-billion naira oil and gas park projects in the North and other parts of Nigeria where oil exploration is being carried out. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said this in a statement from the Nigerian Content Development during the ground-breaking of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park at Emeyal-1, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
He maintained that similar projects would be sited in other parts of the country so as to extend the benefits to more Nigerians. The project is being developed by the NCDMB. “We will work with the Board and provide everything that is needed for the projects. After the development of the five pilot parks in the Niger Delta states, we will extend this very innovative idea to other parts of Nigeria where oil has either been found or is being explored,” the minister was quoted to have said.
“This initiative will send a message to investors that Bayelsa is ready for oil and gas business and drive home the point that the park will bring about localization of indigenous companies, where fabrication, pipe milling, procurement hubs and oil and gas related technologies will flourish.”
The park sited in Bayelsa is expected to generate about 2000 jobs when it begins full operation and create a regional low-cost manufacturing hub that will produce equipment components and spare parts to be utilized in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
The Board is working to establish oil and gas parks in five oil producing states, with the Emeyal-1 project the second to take-off. A similar ground-breaking event was held early March at Odukpani, Cross Rivers State. The other sites are located at Oguta in Imo State, Ikwe-Odio in Akwa Ibom State as well as in Delta State
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote confirmed that the “park occupies a total land mass of about 25 hectares, which will comprise various warehouses, manufacturing shop floors and factories, training centre, hostels, administrative block, mini estate, security posts, fire station, including truck parking and holding areas.”
He said that the park will be provided with uninterrupted power supply to address the electricity challenge, which often besets most Nigerian manufacturers and businesses. The Executive Secretary described the ground-breaking as a great step towards achieving one of the Board’s key mandates.
He added : “This project will positively impact Bayelsa State in general and Emeyal community and its environs in particular. Citizens of the host community and environs will also benefit from on-the-job training opportunities.”
Wabote appealed to the host community to support and defend the project so it will be completed on schedule, warning that it will be relocated if it faces unreasonable demands and disruptions. In his remarks, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Kemela Okara, commended NCDMB for siting one of the oil and gas parks in the state.
He acknowledged that NCDMB had been a veritable partner of the State Government and had contributed to the growth and development of Bayelsans. Okara asserted that the Government was determined to industrialize the state and will support every effort designed to complement its efforts.
“As a state we will support the execution of this project and ensure there is peaceful and conducive environment to aid the speedy completion as planned,” he said. The Obanobhan III of Ogbia Kingdom, His Eminence, King Dumaro Charles-Owaba assured the Board that the community is peaceful and the project will not be disrupted. He solicited that more investments should be sited in the community to create employment opportunities for youths.