Irish Ambassador Visits Bayelsa, Attributes High Oil Output To Stability In N’Delta…Bayelsa To Sign GMoU With Shell On Gbarain/Ubie Gas Plant…Restates Preparedness To Partner Int’l Community On Oil, Gas
Bayelsa State Government is to sign a Global Memorandum of Understanding with Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) on the Gbarain/Ubie Gas plant, a multi-million dollar project, which is the largest investment in Africa.
Speaking while receiving the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Sean Hoy in Government House, Yenagoa, the State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd), expressed the Government’s preparedness to partner the international community, in seeking ways the state can benefit maximally from the oil and gas industry.
A statement issued on Wednesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo, quoted the Deputy Governor as lamenting the non-participation of Bayelsans in the oil and gas industry, which he said was a major cause of agitations in the Niger Delta area.
Rear Admiral John Jonah, who noted that, "we are not carried along in the oil and gas industry, emphasized that, the Niger Delta peoples’ participation in the industry is almost zero."
The Deputy Governor, who lauded the Irish envoy’s efforts to prevail on oil companies towards giving the Niger Delta people a fair share of the oil proceeds, said the state government would liaise with them, in resolving issues with the multinational oil firms.
Describing the devastation to the environment caused by the activities of oil companies as enormous and unquantifiable, Rear Admiral John Jonah said, a study is being carried out by experts on the extent of damage to the environment and the people.
The Deputy Governor, who sought the collaboration of Ireland in the development of the Agge Deep sea port, education and Eco-Industrial park to build an economy beyond oil, also urged the international community to monitor the forthcoming general elections nationwide.
In his remarks, the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Sean Hoy, said they were in Bayelsa to interact with the state government and its people at the grassroots, as regards security issues.
Mr. Hoy, who commended the state government for its efforts at sustaining peace, attributed the high oil production level to the current stability in the Niger Delta.
"I was here in August, 2016. My predecessor never came to this area because he was afraid of insecurity and I believe that, if you are afraid insecurity, you will never learn.
"It is important for us to understand the dynamics of the Niger Delta. This is the economic heart of Nigeria. I want to congratulate all those involved in stabilizing that situation because Nigeria is now almost at peak production in terms of oil production on a daily basis.
On next year’s general elections, Mr Hoy said a team of international observers would be involved in monitoring the elections as well as provide support to promote a free, fair and peaceful polls.
In his contribution, an official the Missionary Attaché in the Irish Embassy, Father Kevin O'Hara, stressed the need for oil companies to adopt international standards in their operations in the Niger Delta.
Father O'Hara said he has been interfacing with communities in the Niger Delta, called on oil companies to improve their relations with host communities to bring about lasting peace and stability.
"Very soon SPDC is going to sign a GMoU with Gbarain/Ekpetiama cluster communities. This is the biggest multi-million dollar project in Africa in your backyard. Therefore your people should be benefitting very well."