The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has launched the start of phase 2 of the construction of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGAPS) in Emeyal-1, Ogbialand in Bayelsa State.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote announced this on Monday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during a town hall meeting with community stakeholders of the project, where he confirmed that the 25 megawatts independent power plant (IPP) being constructed in partnership with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to supply electricity to the park and other dedicated facilities would be completed in July 2019.
He explained that the contract for the new phase of Bayelsa NOGAPS was approved by the Federal Executive Council, which underlines President Mohammed Buhari’s commitment to ensure comprehensive development of the Niger Delta region, spur the incubation of manufacturing of oil equipment in-country to generate employment for young people.
He stated that the main purpose of the town hall meeting was “to formally inform stakeholders that we have secured Federal Government’s approval to award the contract for the construction of roads and drainage system in furtherance of the development plan of the industrial park.“ The new phase of the project would include the construction of pavements, walkways, parking lots, concrete-lined drainages, service ducts amongst others, he said.
Wabote thanked the community stakeholders for the success so far recorded in the first phase of the project, adding that “it is due to the support so far received on the sand-filling and fencing works that give us the confidence to continue to the next phase of the project development.”
He underscored the need for the continued support of the stakeholders as the project is meant to bring progress and jobs to their area. He added that ”I expect utmost cooperation from all as you play your roles and be part of history that will place your community on the map of oil and gas manufacturing activities. Such roles include checkmating any individual or group that wants to derail this wonderful opportunity from coming to fruition in your community.”
The Executive Secretary confirmed that O.K. Isokariari & Sons won the bid for the 2nd phase of the NOGAPS project and canvassed for maximum support for the contractor to enhance timely completion of the project.
He stated that the contract made provision for hiring of a minimum of 80 per cent of all ‘unskilled labour’ from the host and immediate communities for the project execution, a minimum of 50 per cent of the semi-skilled and 20 per cent of the skilled labour requirements, except where there is no response from the communities to such advertised positions.
The NCDMB boss also indicated that community suppliers would participate in the supply of sand, granite, water, fuel and other construction supplies to be determined by the contractor and they would be subject to the quality required and fair market price.
He charged the contractor to ensure safety and security at the site and promote a cordial and harmonious relationship with the communities. The firm is also expected to deliver on time, within budget and to the specified quality. “We have there two cardinal objectives in this project. The first is to maximize the participation and employment of persons from the communities in the project. The second is to ensure that the project is successfully completed on schedule.”
Further scopes lined up for the development of the 25 hectares industrial park include the provision of electrical and water utilities, warehouses, manufacturing shop floors, factories, capacity building centre, hostels, administrative block, mini estate, security posts, fire station, and other facilities.
Providing insight on the NOGAPS concept, the Executive Secretary stated that the oil and gas park “fits perfectly into our mantra to domicile and domesticate oil and gas activities in-country. A key benefit to highlight is that about 2,000 jobs are projected to be created when this park is in full operation in addition to serving as a capacity development centre and on-the-job training hub for our youths. There is no doubt that this project will positively impact Bayelsa State in general and the Ogbialand/ Emeyal-1 community in particular.”
The Obanobhan 111 of Ogbia Kingdom, King Dumaro Charles-Owaba suggested the setting up of a monitoring committee to be composed of representatives NCDMB and the community stakeholders, which would liaise with the Board and the contractor as well as provide members of the communities updates on the project.
Other stakeholders who spoke at the meeting promised a conducive environment for the project while imploring the contractor to avail them ample opportunities to participate in the execution.