The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, says that it will collaborate with other development agencies to construct a good road to bring the world to the Oloibiri Museum and Research Center, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the museum at the site of the first oil well in Nigeria, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for making the dreams of Niger Deltans come true.
He said: “I salute the drive of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who got the support of President Buhari to ensure that the desire and long-awaited dream of the Niger Delta region came to reality.”
Ogbuku remarked that apart from boosting tourism and socio-economic activities in the Oloibiri area, the museum would also be a historical landmark for Nigeria.
The NDDC boss commended the people of Oloibiri for exercising patience and showing understanding over the delay in building a monument to mark the significant contribution of Oloibiri to Nigeria’s standing in the oil and gas industry.
Performing the groundbreaking ceremony of on behalf of President Buhari, Chief Timipre Sylva, noted that the Museum and Research Center was being developed as a collaboration between 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.
The Minister said that the project would place Nigeria among other oil-producing nations that established oil and gas museums to recognise and preserve the heritage and origin of their oil and gas production.
He listed the benefits of the facility to include the provision of a suitable location where historic developments, data, equipment, and tools used in the Nigerian oil and gas industry will be stored for posterity and provision of a Research Center where research prototypes from the industry can be tested against the requirements of the industry.
Also speaking, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri assured that the state government would support the project by providing the enabling environment for its success and sustenance.
The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said that the project should be properly named Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre, Otuabagi.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi Wabote, explained that the Museum and Research Center would correct a historical oversight that lasted for several decades during which time the people of Bayelsa State complained that they had nothing to show for being the birthplace of oil and gas production in Nigeria.
According to him “Mr. President approved the establishment of the Oloibiri Museum and Research Center as part of his signature programmes that would leave behind enduring legacies and impact the Oil and Gas Community, the people of the Niger Delta, and indeed the entire country.”