Minister of state for petroleum resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva will tomorrow perform the groundbreaking of the Oloibiri Museum and Research Center (OMRC), in Bayelsa State.
The minister is also expected to perform the groundbreaking of the Nigerian Content Development Management Board [NCDMB] Conference Hotel Project (CHP), a 3-Star Hotel being developed by the board.
The Oloibiri Museum and Research Center has been sited at the location where commercial quantities of oil were first discovered in 1957 by Royal Dutch Shell.
The construction of the Oloibiri Museum and Research Center is coming 66 years after the historic discovery of hydrocarbon resources, which became a turning point for the Nigerian economy.
The Museum and Research Center is collaboration among the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and the Bayelsa state government (BYSG).
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It will be recalled that fortnight ago, the federal executive council (FEC) had awarded the contract for the phase-1 engineering, procurement & construction of the OMRC to Julius Berger.
Speaking ahead of the groundbreaking event, the executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, who serves as the chairman of the project’s steering committee, explained that the Museum and Research Center would correct a historical oversight that lasted for several decades.
According to the ES, the people of Bayelsa and indeed immediate environment of Oloibiri had expected this level of recognition and government presence.
The minister said investigations shows that as the premier spot from where oil discovery in Nigeria spread to other places, the environment and the people deserve special empowerment and mobilization.
Sylvia stressed further that during all the 66 years interval, the people of Bayelsa State complained that they had nothing to show for being the birthplace of oil and gas production in Nigeria.
He added that the project would place Nigeria among other oil-producing nations that established oil and gas museums to recognise and preserve the heritage and origin of their oil and gas production.
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He listed the benefits of the facility to include the provision of a suitable location where historic developments, data, equipment, and tools used in the Nigerian oil and gas industry will be stored for posterity and provision of a Research Center where research prototypes from the industry can be tested against the requirements of the industry.
The museum will equally encourage tourism, and integration of oil and gas host communities into the development of the sector.
On the Conference Hotel Project, the NCDMB boss explained that it is designed to provide suitable accommodation for stakeholders and other personalities that visit Yenagoa for business or to participate in the several oil and gas events organised periodically at the Board’s 1000-seater ultra-modern Conference Centre.
He added that the hotel will equally provide accommodation for researchers and other persons that would visit the Oloibiri Museum as well as boost the attraction of Yenagoa as a tourist destination.
The event is expected to be attended by the chief executive of the sponsoring entities, bigwigs from the oil and gas industry and stakeholders of the Niger Delta region.