The Federal Government has commenced the construction of a multi-billion Oil and Gas Park in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State; the first of its kind in Nigeria.
The Oil and Gas Park, which is being undertaken by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), would, according to its initiators, provide direct employment for 2,000 when operations commence at the facility.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the start of construction work on the park weekend, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, said work has already commenced at the project site located on 25 hectares of land in Onimankiong community, Okoyong Usang Abasi clan in Odukpani.
“Over 2000 new jobs are projected to be created when this park kick starts at Odukpani and Cross River state at large. This is different from the people who will be involved in the construction of the site.
“2000 direct jobs and another 2000 spinoffs would be created here when the plant becomes operational so what the community needs to do is to partner with us and ensure a speedy completion of the work because we do not abandon projects.
“It is a multi-billion naira project will cause unprecedented growth and development in the community and beyond, it represents an achievement of a major milestone, to implement a flagship project of this magnitude.This is the first of its kind in the Niger Delta and we are most committed to making sure that it is completed as at when due.
“It will create opportunities and develop capacity for local support chain, and boost the economy of the country because from here equipment, spare parts and more will be created that will be utilised in the oil and gas industry of Nigeria,” Wabote said.
He said it was important that the community and the state government took ownership of the project by cooperating with the NCDMB, and the contractors that will be on site.
“It will create opportunities for youths in the community and the state as well as develop capacity for local support chain and boost the economy of the country because from here equipment, spare parts and more will be created that will be utilized in the oil and gas industry of Nigeria.
“We also want to ensure that the locals who are in the community are carried along because we shall make sure that they have capacity to work in the park when it is completed in 2020.It behooves on you (communities) to see us as your own and as partners in progress,” Wabote said.
However, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB warned that construction of the project would be stopped, if youths and other interest groups in the community make unnecessary demands from the board which he said was not out to exploit their resources, but was only building a facility that would provide training for those who would work as technical workers in the oil and gas industry in the country.
“It will create opportunities for youths in the community and the state as well as develop capacity for local support chain and boost the economy of the country because from here equipments, spare parts and more will be created that will be utilized in the oil and gas industry of Nigeria”, he said.