By George Onah
Port Harcourtâ€”The Rivers State government has said the state possessed a huge gas reserve that would last for over 150 years.
Commissioner for Energy, Dr. George Dawari, who disclosed this at a briefing in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the government had plans to develop a master plan for the state as a result.
According to him, the master plan will enable the government to utilize gas for both domestic and industrial activities.
He said the state also aimed at introducing a legislation that will enable it intervene directly in the oil and gas sector.
Dawari said the arrangement â€œwill involve moving gas to private homes, offices and industrial complexes.
â€œThe government was planning a gas-to-diesel conversion plant that will enable the state to use gas to power its vehicles.
â€œThere is also collaboration with foreign investors to build refinery, petrochemical and bitumen plants.
â€œThe venture would surely generate employments for the people of the state. We have comparative advantage to open more petrochemical plants in our state, given the existence of such plants.
â€œApart from providing jobs for the skilled and unskilled across the different strata of the economy, of course, you know that this will oil the wheel of the needed development which the current administration has hugely carried out.â€
In another development, the Federal Government has called for an effective emergency management blueprint for the Niger Delta, in view of the magnitude of oil exploration and environmental degradation in the region.
The government reasoned that since the region had witnessed various disasters for over 50 years of oil exploration, such activities made the area very vulnerable to natural disasters, hence the need to evolve a proactive measure to check the menace.
Minister of State for Niger Delta, Mr. Sam Odey, said at a two-day summit on management disaster in the Niger Delta, under the auspices of National Emergency Management Agency in Port Harcourt, that â€œthe disasters witnessed here include flooding, erosion, landslide and oil spillageâ€.