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Buhari targets job opportunities through newly constructed gas facility in Edo

By Idowu Abdullahi,

The President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the Integrated Gas Handling Facility and LPG Processing and Dispensing Plants in Oredo, Edo State, saying the facility would help in reducing unemployment statistics across the country by creating job opportunities for the nation’s teeming youth.

He said that the facility built and operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, an Upstream Subsidiary of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), would augment his administration’s effort in providing opportunities for young Nigerians to be meaningfully engaged.

Buhari said that not only would the facility provide hundreds of direct and indirect employment opportunities for youths, both skilled and unskilled, it would also support the growth of small and medium enterprises in the host communities.

Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the President noted that meaningful engagement of youths would in turn improve standards of living and help in administration’s commitment of lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

With the facility, Buhari further said, Nigeria has moved a step closer to the nation’s dream of full utilisation of the country’s abundant gas potentials.

According to him, the facility will be delivering 240,000 metric tons of commercial-grade Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Propane. It will also deliver about 205 million standard cubic feet per day of lean gas to the domestic market.

“In addition to its import substitution benefits that brings us a step closer to self-sufficiency in LPG production and also supporting the growth of small and medium enterprises in the host communities, this project will create hundreds of direct and indirect employment opportunities for our teeming youths (both skilled and unskilled).”

“Apart from being the largest onshore LPG plant in Nigeria with the potential of supplying about 20% of Nigeria’s LPG demand, the Oredo Integrated Gas Handling Facility was carefully situated at a corridor proximate to over 80% of Nigeria’s LPG demand source,” he added.

The President remarked that the project was a follow-up to the commitment of the administration towards making Year 2020 as Nigeria’s Year of the Gas:

“At the turn of the Year 2020, this administration made solemn declarations to the Nigerian public over its plans to expand the gas sector footprints by scaling-up the development and utilization of Nigeria’s abundant Natural Gas Resources to help spur industrialization, provide clean and efficient energy for transportation and household use while increasing our exports into the international market. It is on the backdrop of this commitment that the Year 2020 was dedicated and embodied as Nigeria’s Year of Gas.”

“Since then, we have followed through with actions that have translated those plans into tangible projects with monumental value additions to the Nigerian Economy. We accomplished key gas infrastructure projects like the OB3 and ELPS 2 and flagged-off the Construction Phase of the 614 km AKK Pipeline Project,” President Buhari added.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, noted that the project highlights the commitment of NNPC in eliminating gas flares while increasing Nigeria’s value realization from gas.

He added that the entire LPG and propane production was “targeted at the Nigerian market, further affirming the conscious efforts of NNPC and the Nigerian government in growing its participation in the LPG value chain to boost domestic supply, lower prices and deepen LPG penetration to safeguard our environment.”

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, said that the President’s clear directives to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC were that “we must deepen domestic gas utilization and monetization and provide a platform where Nigerians can benefit from the enormous gas supplies that we have so that job and prosperity can be created and by implication, bring peace to the country.”

He added that “the facility was designed, constructed and delivered with the highest application of Nigerian content and the contractor is a wholly Nigerian company which demonstrated the capacity of Nigerian companies to handle ‘complex’ projects.”

Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on his part, assured the federal government of the host community’s commitment towards protecting the facility and keying into the government job drive.

He added that his government would do the needful in ensuring NNPC enjoys good relationship with indigenes within the environs of the plant.

Obaseki implored the central government to review existing gas sales agreement such that price offering the state would be friendly to the common people of Edo who would be using the product for domestic purposes.

“On our party, we would work with federal government, NNPC, and all security agencies to continue to maintain peace in the state. We know that without peace we cannot have development, you cannot transact business, so we would continue to work with you to ensure that there is peace.

“You cannot have peace if there is no justice, you cannot have peace if you do not integrate the people in your development effort, and every other thing you are doing in the state.

“So be rest assured that we would work with you to make Ologbo and Oredo gas hub so that other investors can come and join you and take advantage of an investment that you already have,” Obaseki said.

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