Delta Gas City: Tension in host communities prompts stakeholders’ meeting

Gov Uduaghan

Gov Uduaghan

13 November 2013, Asaba – Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has convened a meeting of stakeholders to solicit the support and cooperation of host communities of the planned multi-billion dollars Nigerian Industrial Gas City to be built in designated industrial site in Warri South-west Local Government Area of the state.

It was learnt that the meeting, which was held at the Government House Annexe, Warri on Monday, was prompted by palpable evidence of growing tension in some of the communities that would play host to the industrial gas city project worth $26 billion.

According to sources in the area, the tension was ignited by an allegation that some undisclosed companies involved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the venture were on the verge of moving into site without some potential host communities being put in the picture at all.

“Some communities have become worried in the light of rumours that some companies planned to begin moving in even without bothering to let our people know about such plans.

“Naturally, when this sort of thing happens, people must begin to ask questions as to why the people are not being carried along. Is it that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) or government officials are up to some games or is somebody trying to shortchange the people in the host communities?” a source claimed.

However, participants at the meeting commended Uduaghan for convening the meeting to douse the tension and to reassure the people that they would be carried along in the course of the project.

Nevertheless, the governor dismissed the alleged plans by some potential investors and firms to move into site in the proposed industrial gas city in Warri South-west without carrying the people along.

Uduaghan explained that the benefits of the project, which would be spread across about 2,800 acres of land, could not be quantified but would impact remarkably on generations yet unborn not in the immediate communities but the state and the entire country.

The governor, who expressed happiness at “the frank and enthusiastic contribution” of participants at the meeting, urged the people of the area to cooperate fully with the federal government, the NNPC and the different contractors handling various aspects of the project in order to ensure a hitch-free process.

“With the gigantic project in place, the associated gas that is being flared by oil exploration and production companies could then be profitably utilised.”
In the same vein, the NNPC has assured Nigerians that the industrial city, which is worth $26 billion ($26 billion), “will not be a white elephant” because it is designed for operation under the public-private-partnership (PPP) arrangement.

The NNPC Group Executive Director (GED) in charge of Oil and Gas, Mr. David Ige, who gave the assurance while fielding questions from journalists on Monday at the Government House Annexe Warri, said apart from being a privately driven venture, the project was aimed at proper utilisation of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon reserves, creating jobs and expanding the wealth of the country through income generation.

Ige explained: “The project basically is in pursuance of the Federal Government’s oil and gas agenda for Nigeria; and, that agenda is to move us from just selling gas but to adding value in the country, thereby creating employment for our own income.

“So, this is a gas industrialisation project where we intend to create in Nigeria a gas-based industrial city. Therefore, the projects were are going to be looking at are projects that use gas as fixed stock; projects like fertilizer, petrochemicals, methanol, polystyrene and so on and so forth. Specifically for this project, we have 750 million cubic feet per day gas processing facility and shortly after that the central processing facility.

“Nonetheless, the multi-billion dollar project, which is expected to be completed in about seven years, would complement the Escravos Gas-To-Liquid (EGTL) built by Chevron Nigeria Limited in the proposed sprawling mega industrial city located in Warri South-west.”

The meeting was attended by representatives of communities in an around Ogidigben in Warri South-West including Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilajes ethnic groups.

– This Day

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