15 Years After, Dickson Decries Pace of Work on $22bn Brass LNG Project

  •  Calls on Buhari to expedite action

Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Fifteen years after the inauguration of the Brass Liquefied Natural Gas Project, Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has decried the slow pace of work on the $22 bn facility.

Dickson called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the bottlenecks militating against the commencement of the project for which the House of Representatives also set up a probe panel last week.

The lawmakers had resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to probe the implementation of the multi-billion dollars project alleged to have been poorly managed.

According to findings, under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the project was originally set up with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) owning 49 per cent while other affiliates, including Conoco Phillips, ENI and Chevron, also held some stakes.

But the governor who spoke during a stakeholders meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Yenagoa, said the call had become imperative in view of what he described as the unacceptable lack of federal projects in the state.

The Bayelsa Governor noted that the take-off and eventual utilisation of the two projects, which also includes a refinery, would not only give the Ijaw people a sense of belonging but also expand the revenue base of the country.

He decried the ‘backwardness’ of the Ijaw ethnic nationality in terms of development and urged the Federal Government as well as multinational corporations to partner the state government in tackling the widening infrastructural deficit in the area.

He added: “As I speak with you, work is ongoing on the Sagbama-Ekeremor Road and we are sure of driving to Ekeremor Town by December this year. In the next few weeks, I will invite you and we all drive to Aguobiri in Southern Ijaw. Also, clearing of the Yenagoa-Ayama, Ogbia road will start in the next two weeks.

“All these are capital intensive projects and that is why we are calling on the federal government and other development partners to come to our aid. In one of my meetings with the President, I told him to bring back the Brass LNG and the Refinery Projects and also convene a stakeholders meeting to talk about the Nembe-Brass Road.”

The meeting also had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), former military administrator of Ebonyi and Delta States, Chief Walter Feghabo-Amain and State PDP Chairman, Mr. Moses Cleopas.

Also present were Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, Senator Nimi Barigha Amange, Emmanuel Diffa, AVM Larry Koinya, members of the Federal House of Representatives, Mr Fyneman Wilson, the governor’s Special Adviser, Political Affairs, among other party chieftains.

According to Dickson, the project which has hardly taken off since it was first kicked off, also has the capacity to absorb jobless and restless Niger Delta youths.

On politics, he urged PDP faithful who have the ambition to contest the forthcoming state and National Assembly elections not to heat up the polity but maintain the discipline and decorum existing in the state chapter of the party.

According to the governor, although all political ambitions are legitimate, aspirants need to pray and consult properly with readiness to uphold party supremacy as the state PDP will only feature its best in the upcoming elections.

While commending the stakeholders and all members of the PDP for the various roles they played to actualise his re-election, Dickson also thanked chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who have defected to the PDP, reassuring them of full reintegration and support.