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Sylva performs Groundbreaking of Oloibiri Museum, NCDMB Conference Hotel

The President Buhari represented by the performed the Groundbreaking of the NCDMB Conference Hotel Project (CHP) at Swali, Bayelsa State. He was joined by the Executive secretary Simbi Wabote, Governing Council, top management and Staff of the Board.

President Buharinoted that the Federal Government had put all machinery in place, including funding arrangements to ensure hitch-free delivery of the projects.

While urging the communities to own and protect the projects, he emphasized the need for the contractors to comply with the Community Content Guidelines of the NCDMB Act.

Buhari said: “I hereby direct the lead contractors of both projects, Julius Berger and the MegaStar Technical and Construction Company Limited to integrate the host communities and their traditional institutions and skilled youths in the various scopes of the projects.

“I also expect that you will build capacities where necessary to ensure hitch-free project delivery. Specifically, I recommend that the contractors should study the Community Content Guidelines issued by the NCDMB.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the major contractors handling the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre as well as the Local Content Conference Hotel to deliver both projects according to specifications and timelines meant for their completion.

To this end, he directed Julius Berger, the Contractors handling the Oloibiri Museum, and MegaStar Technical and Construction Company Limited in charge of the NCDMB Conference Hotel to carry their host communities along in executing the projects.

In his remark at the Conference Hotel groundbreaking, Chief Timipre Sylva commended President Muhammadu Buhari for facilitating projects such as the Nigerian Content Tower, NOGaPS, Conference Hotel Project (CHP), Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre, etc in Bayelsa State through the NCDMB.

The Honourable Minister of State,Chief Timipre Sylva also lauded and thanked the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote (FNSE) without whom he noted that many of the Board’s projects such as the Conference Hotel would not have happened

On his part, the Executive Secretary Simbi Wabote explained that the Hotel is being built to meet industry needs. He said It is important to note that this hotel project does not belong to the NCDMB. Neither would the Board manage it. Rather, it will be managed by an international hotel brand

Mr Kesiye Wabote said feasibility studies, environmental impact assessment (EIA), site clearing, and architectural design had already been completed.

He acknowledged the support of the Bayelsa State Government to the projects, stressing that the contractors were carefully selected to ensure they put up edifices that will stand out as world-class oil and gas tourism destinations.

While highlighting the positive multiplier effects of the projects, Governor Diri pledged readiness to collaborate with the Federal Government and other critical stakeholders to translate them to reality.

He also strongly recommended that the Museum and Research Centre Project be named after Otuabagi Community to avoid the mistake made by Shell Petroleum Development Company attributing oil wells located in Nembe Local Government Area in Bayelsa to Soku in Rivers State.

His words: “The cry of Oloibiri and Bayelsa State and the Niger Delta is not for justice. Our cry is for equity. A society that does not put equity before justice can never make progress. Justice is only a remedy to inequity.

“As a state, we are happy about what we are seeing here today. We are believing that equity has started coming to sit in Bayelsa because all we want is that there should be equitable distribution of resources in this country.

“It is, therefore, our firm belief and gratitude that the Federal Government has finally taken the bull by the horn to execute this project, which will have so many multiplier effects on the state and the country in general.”

In their separate goodwill messages, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari, and the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Samuel Ogboku, pledged support to the realization of the projects.

Earlier, the Obanobhan of Ogbia Kingdom, His Majesty, King Charles Owaba and a representative of Otuabagi, Prof. Teddy Adias, expressed gratitude to President Buhari, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, the state government and the various funding partners for the take-off of the Museum Project

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has restated commitment to support the federal government’s efforts to preserve the heritage of Oloibiri in Bayelsa where the oil firm first struck oil in commercial quantity in 1958.

Mr Osajie Okunbor, Managing Director (SPDC),Speaking at the event said, “I am delighted at the opportunity to present this goodwill message on behalf of SPDC.

“SPDC is the operator of the Joint Venture involving the NNPC Limited, Shell, Total Energies E&P Limited and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company limited (NAOC).

 “This is history in the making and the SPDC Joint Venture is proud to be associated with it. Indeed, the energy story of Nigeria has come home!  It was here in 1958 that Shell opened the first pages of the history of energy in Nigeria.

The first commercial find of hydrocarbons was here in Oloibiri and the subsequent first export of oil which launched Nigeria into the league of oil producers was also from here,” he said.

Okunbor observed that the groundbreaking ceremony reflects the collaborative effort and tenacity of the PTDF, NCDMB, SPDC JV and the Bayelsa State Government.

“I, therefore, congratulate us all again on this seminal and highly important event. There is no doubt in my mind that, when concluded, this museum and research centre will be a one-stop shop in the heart of the Niger Delta for the development of technologies for the energy of today and the energy of tomorrow.

“I expect that the centre will grow to collaborate with relevant academic institutions in the Niger Delta and beyond, to further the much-needed handshake between the energy industry in Nigeria and academia,” he said.

He urged the community to see the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre as their own and not another project implemented by the government and multinationals.

“I expect the people to own, protect and take pride in the historical and future relevance of this facility, while also taking advantage of the many opportunities it will offer.

“I join all stakeholders to celebrate this monumental event and wish for a safe, speedy construction here after.  Thank you everyone,” he said.


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