Following its promise to make Niger Delta a gas hub to attract foreign investors, the federal government is considering the establishment of oil and gas industrial parks. It will be recalled that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu had made it known through the Gas Master Plan that it would rejuvenate the oil and gas sector. The Minister further disclosed plans of the government during the ground-breaking of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park being developed by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Bayelsa State.
Kachikwu stated that the government plans to develop similar projects in other parts of the country so as to extend the benefits to more Nigerians. According to the Minister: “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.”
He noted that “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 localisation of indigenous companies, where fabrication, pipe milling, procurement hubs and oil and gas related technologies will flourish.”
Buttressing his point and affirming the government’s position, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote authenticated 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.”
Simbi explained that the park will be provided with uninterrupted power supply to address the electricity challenge which often besets most Nigerian manufacturers and businesses.
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson commended NCDMB for citing one of the oil and gas parks in the state. He acknowledged that the Board had been a veritable partner of the State Government, and had contributed to the growth and development of Bayelsans.
The federal government has also built a gas park at Ogidiben in Delta State. It is hoped that the government’s involvement in oil and gas development plan will assist the Niger Delta people particularly the Mohammadu Buhari administration that has shown interest to improve the oil sector in Nigeria.