- Â NNPC, state govt to collaborate on industrial parks
Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Seriake Dickson, said wednesday that the state alone retains 30 per cent of Nigeriaâ€™s gas reserves, arguing that Bayelsa could become the Houston of Africa if the federal government gave the needed support.
A statement by the governorâ€™s Chief Press Secretary, Francis Agbo, noted that Dickson spoke during a session with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at the ongoing Onshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, United States.
The governor said being the historical headquarters of oil and gas in Nigeria and Africa, if the NNPC leadership under Dr. Maikanti Baru and the critical players in the oil and gas sector collaborate with Bayelsa State, a lot would be achieved in that respect.
He maintained that his government had created the enabling environment for investments, especially in the oil and gas sector, declaring that the state remains safe for investments.
â€œBayelsa State has over 30 per cent of the gas reserves in Nigeria. For anyone thinking about investment opportunities in gas where to go is clearly Bayelsa and there is no doubt about that, which is why we are here to market that comparative advantage to the investing world.
â€˜â€˜Bayelsa State is safe, peaceful and ready for business. Our government has created the conducive and enabling environment for investments to flourish, including investments in the oil and gas sector,â€ the governor said.
Being the only state from Nigeria represented at the event, Dickson insisted that the new Bayelsa eco-industrial city, deep sea port, ongoing construction of a power hub, an international airport and a host of other initiatives make the state attractive to investors.
He added that if every state in Nigeria is prosperous and takes advantage of the abundant natural resources to create wealth and develop skilled manpower, then it would translate to prosperity for the entire country.
In his response, Baru promised to collaborate with the governor and support the Bayelsa state government in its investment drive, especially in the evaluation of viable projects in the state.
He advised other states to learn from Bayelsa State which is regularly present at the event every year, noting that when the industrial park is ready, it would change the face of investment in the state.
He said: â€˜â€˜If you build an industrial park, you are building an area where investors will come and have ready-made feedstock. Whether a refinery or a fertilizer plant…so, all that is needed for the investors to do is to site their plant, connect to the feed stock and commence operations.
â€˜â€˜In addition to this, the industrial park should have housing facilities to accommodate all who will work there because these equipment, however, hi-tech they are, require people to man them.
â€˜â€˜Bayelsa State has been developing its airport which meets these standards and impressively, it is almost reaching completion. They are almost done with a 3.5Km runway airport that can land a 747, an A380 and of course it can land the heaviest lift aircraft that we have in the world.â€
The NNPC GMD noted that the Bayelsa heavy lift airport will be useful even to the neighbouring states of Rivers, Delta, Edo, and Akwa-Ibom states.
â€œAfter the completion of the deep Seaport, there will be a lot of movement of goods, facilities and heavy equipment vessels away from Lagos port to the Bayelsa port, which will be a great relief for the various industries,â€ he noted.