—as NNPC, Rivers State move to relocate Oyigbo residents
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said
that the nationâ€™s crude oil production capacity has recorded a quantum leap in
the aftermath of the amnesty programme and the return of peace in the Niger
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Mohammed
Barkindo, who said this during a visit to the Oyibgo Gas Plant in Rivers State
operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company.
Barkindo who was accompanied on the tour by the governor of River State ,
Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, commended the governor for the role he played in bringing
about peace in the region.
According to Barkindo, â€œWe are pleased to announce that the
first time in nearly three and half years, our crude oil
production yesterday (Thursday) peaked at record 2.4 million barrels per
He said that for many months, the corporation had been
concerned on the rising idle capacity which had reduced the nationâ€™s crude oil
production capacity to a record low of 1.7 million barrels per day as a result
of the issue of insecurity in the Niger Delta.
He added, â€œWe are here to show our will to partner with you
and to sustain it even further because it is one thing to achieve this and
another to sustain the momentum in the long run. We want you to see us as your
natural partners in the process of going forward.
â€œIt is not only in crude oil production export but we are
also beginning to see a rise in the volume of gas either for domestic or for
Barkindo noted that the challenge of providing domestic gas particularly for
power was paramount, adding that the government had agreed to a plan in order
to have a stabilized power situation in the country before embarking on a
short-medium and long term programme for both gas and power.
â€œHowever, we still have the challenges of transmitting this
gas to the required power stations. So, at the moment we have a significant
amount of stranded gas particularly in the eastern part of the country but the
blueprint for the infrastructure is being implemented in phases particularly
the pipeline network that will link the east and the west and other parts of
the country at an advanced stages of implementation,â€ he added.
He explained that the NNPC management was in Port Harcourt , Rivers
State â€œto advance
dialogue and discussions we have had on variety of issues in the implementation
of our reform.â€
He added, â€œThis is the first time we are meeting since the
amnesty by the Federal Government of which is common knowledge that you played
a midwifery role in ensuring that peace and
normalcy is restored to this region.
â€œOn behalf of my colleagues, may I congratulate you for
taking this calculated risk from day one to stand for peace and advocate for a
return to normalcy without pre-conditions. This is what leadership is all
â€œTo take this calculated risk on behalf of the people and
today we are beginning to see the fruits of this spearheading role that you
took that culminated in a comprehensive amnesty across the region.â€
Barkindo lamented that the Oyigbo gas plant within the state
was lying idle for nearly two years, noting that time has come to get it back
to life following the restoration of normalcy in the state.
He said, â€œWe are engaging our partners in the Joint Venture with your assistance to mainstream Omigbo
where we have an installed capacity of 9 million scf which translates to nearly
300 megawatt of power that is lying idle.
â€œOyigbo I understand is not only lying idle but because of
encroachment of some settlers around the facility and the high level of health,
safety and environment of gas plant, it has become very difficult to continue
to run the plant.â€
He, therefore, sought the assistance of the governor towards
getting the plant back on stream by relocating residents that have encroached
on the property around the gas plant.
He said, â€œWe have no option opened to us than to work with
the governor, the local government chairman and Shell to immediately see how we
can quickly relocate these people who have encroached on this facility.
â€œThis is disaster waiting to happen. We shutting down 90
million scald of gas at a time when every molecules is very important for our
domestic gas obligations but life comes first and the decision to shut down
this facility is a right on by Shell.â€
On his own part, the governor directed the Commissioner for
Urban Development in the state to value the properties and enumerate the
He said, â€œIt is 200 metres from each side. A month after
that, the properties should be demolished. He has also been mandated to call
everybody around to explain to them why we are doing what we are doing. We are
doing this because we need to protect their lives.â€
He added, â€œWe should not forget that the Nigerians economy
is dependent on oil and we cannot abandon this project because 200 metres have
been encroached upon by illegal occupants.
â€œWe are not going to see them as illegal occupants; we see
them as genuine Rivers people who in search of land may have been misled into
buying land here. We are not going to look at who is right or wrong but we are
going to look at the lives of the people.â€