May 26, 2024

Nigerian Govt. approves N117bn for construction of Oloibiri oil museum & research centre

Oredola Adeola

…project to kick off Q1 2023, finish in 30 months

The Nigerian Government has approved the sum of N 117 billion for the Phase 1 engineering, procurement & construction contract for the construction of the Oloibiri Museum & Research Centre (OMRC) in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, with the specific purpose of converting the location where the first oil in the country was discovered into a monumental edifice that would preserve the heritage and developments in the oil and gas sector.

The project was approved at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, in Abuja, and was made known in a statement released by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Department of Corporate Communications on Wednesday.

EnergyDay gathered that the Oloibiri Museum & Research Centre (OMRC) is expected to be sponsored by four development partners, comprising 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), and each entity would contribute to the development of the monument in the ratio of 40, 30, 20 and 10 percent respectively.

According to the statement, the Museum would serve as a research center where historic developments, data, equipment, and tools used in the Nigerian oil and gas industry will be stored for posterity, while also serving as a functional research center where prototypes can be tested and validated in fulfillment of the requirement for approval of new technologies.

NCDMB stated that sixty-six years after the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities at Oloibiri, Bayelsa State by Shell D’Arcy, the FEC approved the scope of work for the masterpiece museum and research center, expected to close a major gap in the nation’s quest for homegrown technology inputs required to service exploration and production activities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The Federal Government through the Federal Executive Council (FEC) awarded the contract to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc with a completion period of 30 months.

The statement said, “The establishment of OMRC has been at the concept stage for over three decades and the inability to progress to the construction phase is viewed as a historical oversight as an operational museum and research center would preserve the heritage and developments in the oil and gas sector similar to what obtains in other oil-producing nations.

“The project team for the symbolic project was first launched in August 2020 by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, with the inauguration of key project committees and the setting of delivery timelines.

“The project is approved as part of President Buhari’s signature programs that would leave behind enduring legacies, and impact the oil and gas community, the people of the Niger Delta, and the entire nation.

“The socio-economic impact of the project includes employment generation, tourism, research & technology development, and integration of oil and gas host communities into the mainstream developmental narrative of the country.

EnergyDay further gathered that President Buhari is expected to witness the groundbreaking ceremony within Quarter 1 2023, marking the beginning of the upliftment in the quality of life of the immediate host community, Bayelsa State, and the people of the Niger Delta.

Chief Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, in his comment on the project, commended President Buhari for what he described as love towards the Niger Delta region, recalling that he granted his first approval for the project amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impact.

Sylva further explained that the project consists of the construction of a museum where historic developments, data, equipment, and tools used in the Nigerian oil and gas industry will be stored for posterity and the construction of a functional Research Center where prototypes can be tested and validated in fulfillment of the requirement for approval of new technologies.

“To ensure sustainability, the project adopted a development model that will leverage the benefits of public-private partnership, inter-agency collaboration, and inter-governmental alignment, to optimize resource utilization and ensure that the Oloibiri museum meets international standards,” Sylva explained.

EnergyDay also gathered that as part of measures to ensure timely execution, two committees and five project teams were created for the project, to provide the necessary support and supervision essential to deliver the OMRC project.

The committees include the Steering Committee, which would be responsible for providing leadership and steering, while the Coordinating Committee, responsible for providing oversight on activities of all the project teams, which include Construction, Funds mobilization and management, ​Community Relations, Health, Safety & Environment and Secretariat, which is situated in NCDMB Head Office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.