The Federal Government has said that it will revive the $16 billion Ogidigben gas project as the process has begun to ensure that all projects are realized.
The State Minister for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva gave the indication and blamed security challenges as a major hindrance to the billion-dollar project.
But now, fresh assurances are given by the Minister and the process has begun to get investors back to the table.
Nonetheless, the State Minister challenged host communities to display a commitment to peace, particularly now that the government has started the process of the project, adding that host communities ‘ cooperation and stability in the Niger Delta is required to develop the region and create jobs.
“The Ogidigben Gas Project isn’t abandoned at all, I can tell you that. Unfortunately, before now, the Ogidigben project was affected by security issues. When they tried the project, there were some security issues around it and the investors got worried.
“We must understand, as Nigerians and as Niger Deltans that they say that the Dollar is a coward, it doesn’t like to go to any place where it is threatened. So if you have insecurity in the Niger Delta, you will have such problems.
“However, we have also started discussing the Ogidigben Project again. If you listened to me while I was in Riyadh last year, the Ogidigben Project was in the front burners and it is a project that we really hope to achieve and I believe that between us and the communities, cooperation and peace from the area, the project can be achieved.
“Nigeria needs a project like that because the country needs to drive activities. There’s no magic about creating jobs in the oil industry. The only way to create jobs in the industry is to create activities in the industry. So if an Ogidigben Project starts, a project worth $16 billion, in the Niger Delta, you can only imagine how many jobs will be created.
“As a government, we are keen on that project and we are discussing it, but what we are also asking for from the communities and the entire Niger Delta region is peace in the whole of the area so that we can focus on the development of projects and create jobs in the region.”
The Ogidigben Gas Project was inaugurated by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in the Warri South-West council area of Delta State, but was delayed due to insecurity.
The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, urged the Federal Government to start work on the project a few weeks ago, saying it has the potential to transform the economy of the Delta State.
After its inauguration, the monarch regretted having been abandoned since January 2015, noting that once completed, it will make the country a global gas hub and positively affect the lives of peoples.