A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

$16bn EPZ Project: Jonathan seeks new date for ground breaking

27 January 2015, Asaba – President Goodluck Jonathan has mandated Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, relevant authorities in the Presidency and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to fix a new date for the ground breaking ceremony of the $16 billion Export Processing Zone, EPZ project.

President Jonathan

Jonathan gave the directive when he paid a courtesy call on the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II, in the company of Dr. Uduaghan, during an unscheduled visit to Delta State.

He pointed out that it would not be possible to do the ground breaking before the elections because the investors have to be around for the ceremony, adding that the companies had been given enough notice.

Jonathan mandated the Delta State governor to work closely with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Presidency to get a suitable date before May 29, for the exercise.

President Jonathan took the opportunity of the visit to explain the circumstances surrounding the aborted ground breaking for the Export Free Zone, EPZ.

He told the Olu, in the presence of his chiefs, that he had to put off the ground breaking to avert a possible outbreak of violence after the ceremony which would have frightened investors.

According to him, his action in putting off the exercise was not borne out of fear that anything was going to happen to him, noting that as a son of the Niger Delta, he could move freely in the zone without molestation.

Jonathan, during the visit, also had a private audience with the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.

Governor Uduaghan, on his part, commended the President’s personal visit to the Olu which, he said, has afforded him the opportunity to explain to the monarch and the Itsekiri people, the issues surrounding the ground breaking ceremony of the project.

Uduaghan also expressed appreciation to the Olu on his understanding of the President’s explanation and commitment to the project.

He appealed to groups and individuals to desist from politicising the ground breaking ceremony, adding, “We join Mr President in our commitment to the success of the project.”

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/01/16bn-epz-project-jonathan-seeks-new-date-ground-breaking-2/#sthash.cqKExNQv.dpuf

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