By Emmanuel Addeh
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, has disclosed that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park in Emeyal 1, Bayelsa State, would be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Speaking after inspecting the construction work at the project site alongside senior management of the board, Wabote said his assessment visit was a prelude to the planned tour by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, to the board’s major projects.
A statement from the NCDMB stressed that the oil and gas park projects at Emeyal 1 and Odukpani in Cross River State and the Composite Gas Cylinder Manufacturing facility at Polaku are some of the projects to be visited.
Wabote expressed delight over the quality and speed of work by the wholly Nigerian contractors, noting that their work compared favourably with similar jobs across Nigeria and was evidence that NCDMB was always acting in accordance with its guidelines on patronage of local service companies.
The park is expected to create a low-cost manufacturing hub that will produce equipment components and spare parts to be utilised in the nation’s oil and gas industry when completed.
The board stated that the project started with a ground-breaking ceremony on April 27, 2018, and has now reached about 68 percent completion, with four major structures nearly completed, while foundation work was starting on some buildings and parts of the project.
“We did the ground-breaking ceremony in 2018 and we were practically inside water; but today, we are seeing structures coming up. We still have a long way to go because most of the buildings are getting to the finishing stages while some are just starting. We believe that we will complete this project by Q4, 2022,” the NCDMB boss said.
Explaining the benefit of the park scheme to the nation’s economy, Wabote hinted that the facility would stimulate the manufacturing of oil and gas components in-country and reverse the current trend whereby the sector depended on importation for most of its finished products.
He added that the park would also save the much-needed foreign exchange for the nation and create jobs for the Nigerian people.
“It will also enhance our capacity and bring about technological innovations because most of those manufacturing will be done here. For the community, it will create a lot of jobs and there will be a spin-off effect to other economic activities. The benefits are enormous,” he noted.
He also assured that shortage of electricity would not affect companies that would set up in the park.
“We have been able to conquer the challenge of electricity at this site. We have built a 10megawatts gas plant to guaranty power to the site,” he explained.
Wabote confirmed that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) was supporting the oil and gas project through a Capacity Development Initiative (CDI).
Shell’s commitment to the project, he stated, included the construction of effluent treatment plant, fire station and acquisition of two fire trucks and to construct a water treatment plant, sewage systems and piping network for water.