Bayelsa Breaking News News Oil & Gas

Niger Delta: FG moves to establish oil, gas institute in Odi

The Federal Government has concluded arrangements to establish an oil and gas institute in Odi, Bayelsa State as part of ongoing negotiations to tackle developmental problems in the Niger Delta region.

President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been rolling out palliatives and infrastructural packages to develop human capacity and quell agitation in the region.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, made the disclosure, yesterday, when he visited Yenagoa, the state capital, for some official engagements.

While paying a courtesy visit to the state Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, the minister said the institute would be sited in Odi, a community in Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area, that suffered military invasion under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Onu, who was received by the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd) said the institute, when established would improve manpower in the Niger Delta and reduce unemployment in the country.

He said siting of the institute in Bayelsa was strategic because of the contributions of the state to oil and gas sector in the country.

The minister said the institute would enhance development of skills among the people of the region to stimulate the local economy and create activities in the oil-producing communities.

He said: “The institute will not only create jobs and improve skills, but it will also create wealth. We need to develop capacity in oil and gas processes in the country”.

The minister, who was also in Odi, to inaugurate the ultramodern Bioresources Laboratory complex and the livestock feed milling complex at the Bioresources Development Center (BIODEC),said the government was deploying technology to monitor pipelines and track the country’s oil.

He said the laboratory would be deployed to investigate pipeline breaches following its capacity to embed fingerprints in oil.

He said with the facility oil theft would soon be a thing of the past, as the fingerprinting would enable the country to track its crude oil anywhere when stolen and solve the problem of economic sabotage.

Onu said the fingerprinting of the country’s crude oil would begin at the end of the year insisting that the technology could be deployed in the country.

He said the country under the current administration had come of age and capable of solving her problems instead of depending on outsiders.

He said: “This lab, the ultramodern laboratory, I feel very happy; for me, Nigeria is changing. With this capacity here now, we will be able to do many things.

“I just gave them an instruction that by the end of the year, we should have fingerprinting of our crude oil, so that if anybody steals it we will be able to identify it, because even crude oil can have fingerprints and with the equipment we have here we can do it in Nigeria.

“One problem that we have is that we rely on outside, from other people to solve our problems. We produce crude oil, we export it, but we now import refined petroleum products.

“We exports our woods and we bring in toothpicks. We don’t want that anymore and for you to do all this things we rely on others, we have to look inward and we need to build capacity and what this facility is doing for us.

I just mentioned to you now that you can do genome mapping of our rare crops, plants, animals that are unique to us. We can even have fingerprints of our own crude oil.

“Normally, this is something we spent a lot of money and you ask other people to do it. Now, when we do it here, it is our person that will do it here, that is how to create jobs, that is how to create wealth because that money you could have sown outside will now be here and be use it here. Even though we are the largest economic in Nigeria, we want to bigger than that that.

“We also need to fight poverty, if you create jobs, you will fight poverty, if you train people, you fight poverty and that’s what they are doing here and I think we are ready to fight poverty.”

Also speaking, the Director-General of the Institute, Josiah Habu, said the target of the research center was to bring reliability, quality, originality, innovation and novelty to research and development.

He said the inauguration of the facilities had officially opened the gateway to a higher level of bioresources prospecting and processing to new products and services.

Habu said: “For a start, the quest for the DNA of Nigeria crude oil will soon be answered, to enable tracking of Nigeria crude oil flow globally, hence solve national problem of economic sabotage.”


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