Port Harcourt — Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has charged the Federal Government and oil firms operating in the state, to prioritized infrastructural development of the state, given its pioneering role in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
This is as the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in collaboration with PTDF, NCDMB and SPDC, has inaugurated the project committees for the establishment of Oil and Gas Museum and Research Center in Oloibiri, Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.
But Governor Diri said the call became imperative in order to give back to the Otuabagi/Otuogidi communities making up the Oloibiri oil field where crude oil was first discovered in commercial quantities in 1956.
The governor in a statement by his media aide, Mr Kola Oredipe, said that oil producing communities deserve better infrastructure to compensate for the long years of neglect amidst the adverse effects of oil and gas exploration and exploitation.
“We receive the proposed Oloibiri oil musuem with a tinge of mixed emotions.
“This is because, naturally, the people of Bayelsa State as guardians and holders of the primary source of wealth of our entire nation are deserving not only of recognition but also of all the dividends that ought to flow from this special status.
“I therefore, appeal that the Federal Government to throw its full weight behind all processes required to bring much needed development to Bayelsa State including the initiation and completion of other necessary developmental projects across the State.
“For instance, the road from Nembe to Brass is critical to us and should be given urgent consideration by the Federal Government and the oil multinationals operating there.
“The Nigerian Agip Oil Company has been operating on that Island for many years now”, Oredipe quoted Diri as saying.
Governor Diri also commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of State Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and other partners in the Oil and Gas Museum and Research Center, for kick starting the project.
“In addition, Oloibiri deserves to be a national heritage site. We will therefore implore your Excellency, Mr. President to give effect to this consideration and expedite it by all lawful means possible.
“This initiative, is indeed the fulfilment of a longstanding quest to preserve the history of petroleum exploration and its impact in the Niger Delta, and by extension in Nigeria and the world in general. It is heartwarming that this vision is now coming to fruition.
“The choice of Oloibiri as the location of the museum and research center is quite apt and commendable. It couldn’t have been anywhere else.”