Port Harcourt — As parts of its Bonny Dubai initiative, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, has set the ball rolling for the building of a multibillion consulate in Bonny Kingdom.
The Bonny Dubai Initiative is a plan to make Bonny, the number one tourists and investment destination in Nigeria, just like Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, at the ground breaking ceremony for the Bonny Consulate building as parts of the occasion of NLNG 20/30 anniversary, said NLNG is pursuant of a Bonny community that will likened to Dubai in terms of tourism and economic activities.
Attah said the Consulate when completed would have a Radio Station, Offices for the King of Bonny and the Chairman, Bonny Chiefs’ Council, a Library, a Museum, a Café, a cinema, a Seminar/Exhibition hall, etc.
He disclosed that it’s NLNG expectation that the building will be a rallying point for tourism in the nearest future.
“Today will go down in history as yet another occasion in which Nigeria LNG expanded its imprints in the development of Bonny Island.
“I am very particularly elated about this event because it reinforces Nigeria LNG’s resolve to change the narrative about our host community, Bonny Island.
“This is our true dream for the community and we are resolute on achieving it, riding on the Bonny Kingdom masterplan which is built around four pillars, namely Human Capital Development, Economic expansion and diversification, Infrastructure Development, Environmental sustainability.
“We have given ourselves that task, but we can only achieve so much with your reliable support. So, today, together we are about to make history again with the foundation laying ceremony for the reconstruction of the Bonny Consulate Building.”
Attah disclosed that NLNG already has launched the Bonny Community Health Insurance Programme, the malaria eradication programme and the Bonny – Bodo Road construction which is expected to be completed within the next 48 months.
“We are confident that this road will trigger the development of more commercial ventures and attract other positive interests such as tourism.
“With a functional Airstrip in Bonny which has capacity to land an air craft of about 60 seats or more as currently deployed by the private users, the outlook for Bonny community is one that promises to be the envy of most other coastal communities in the Niger Delta region.
“This ground breaking ceremony for the reconstruction of the Bonny Consulate Building is an assurance of how much NLNG wants to realize the advancement of this community that has been home to us.
“I believe you can appreciate that our interest in this community is much more than our economic gain; it is also about working with you to recreate the heroic picture of the ancient Bonny kingdom, to situate the community in its place of pride as a key business hub and especially to make sure that we make Bonny better than we met it 20 years ago.
“This building when completed will provide a space for Bonny FM Radio Station, Offices for the King of Bonny and the Chairman, Bonny Chiefs’ Council, a Library, a Museum, a Café, a Movie hall, a Seminar/Exhibition hall, as well as a Souvenir shop and offices for those who will manage various aspects of the facility.”
Also speaking, the Amanyanabo of Bonny, King Edward Asimini Dappa-Pepple said Bonny community is exceptionally blessed with natural endowments that have pulled varied economic interests to the kingdom since the 15th century.
King Pepple said by the time all its antiquities are rightly preserved, Bonny would indeed be a tourist haven.
He commended the board, shareholders and management of NLNG for respecting the soul of his kingdom by positively touching on every aspect of Bonny existence as home of the harbour of great value.
“So we are really happy with what is happening here today, as we witness the benevolent gesture by this outstanding corporate citizen of Bonny community, Nigeria LNG kick-starting the actualisation of this mutual aspiration by re-enacting the Bonny Consulate Building.
“This building as the name suggests, is quite significant in the development trails of Bonny Kingdom. The consulate is reminiscent of the active involvement of the British in the internal affairs of the kingdom in the 19th century.
“This was largely occasioned by their intense interest in the favourable business clime they found with us here. The story has been the same ever since and Bonny continues to provide that ambience that every business concern, especially of export nature requires.
“As Nigeria LNG bequeaths the kingdom this building in replication of that vestige consulate building, Bonny Kingdom will again be able to proudly keep the memoirs of its ancient business history.
“We assure you that when this building is completed and furnished to be fit for purpose, the Kingdom will take on the responsibility of utilizing it such that Nigeria LNG Limited will be proud you committed to this project and posterity will remember you.”