Published On: Wed, Nov 15th, 2023

Oyibode: A Notch Of A New Frontier For ‘MORE Agenda’


By Our Reporter

LAGOS NOVEMBER 15TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Today, the world is transiting to renewable energy but the stark reality is that oil and gas will continue to play dominant role in global energy needs for years to come especially in the developing world.

Nigeria as a leading oil producing nation in Africa is positioned not only as a major hub for oil and gas business in the sub region, but as a formidable force within the global oil geopolitics.

Interestingly, as the energy transition diminishes global oil interest, so does it promote the use of gas as a sustainable energy.

Nigeria and indeed Delta State is enormously endowed with billions of cubic gas deposits laying beneath the vast swampy bowels of Urhobo, Ijaw, Isoko, Itsekiri and Ndokwa nations even as the global gas demand triples supplies.

It was therefore very thoughtful and heart warming when the Delta State Government under Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan created the Ministry of Oil and Gas in 2011 to galvanize the sector towards maximising the huge oil and gas resources as a leading oil and gas producing State in the country.

Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa who succeeded Dr. Uduaghan followed the same trajectory by maintaining the ministry and today, his successor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Elder Sheriff F. O Oborevwori has not only navigated the same route but upped the ante by appointing a very vibrant and articulate activist, Olorogun Vincent Ogheneruemu Oyibode to steer the ministry to deliver on his promises of a “MORE Agenda” for Deltans.

The mandate of the ministry amongst others include: to implement an independent system for the monitoring and verification of oil and gas production figures in Delta State and report same to the appropriate authority in government; identify areas of investment and employment opportunities in the oil and gas industry and stimulate, guide and encourage citizens of the State to invest on such emerging opportunities.

Another mandate of the ministry is to provide training and skill set acquisition opportunities for citizens of the State in the oil and gas industry with a view to improving technical skills and investing in emerging technologies in the industry, implementing measures for the domestication of the Local Content Law of the Federal Government and overseeing its enforcement by all stakeholders in the oil and gas sector of the State; act on behalf of government as the State organ for dispute resolution between all

stakeholders in the oil and gas industry in the State among others.

At his inauguration in Asaba earlier this year, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori had hinted at the immediate restoration of the status of Warri and its environs when he said, “I will start work from Warri” to the admiration of all Deltans.

Also speaking recently, Governor  Oborevwori said, “We will rebuild infrastructure in Warri with good roads, flyovers, drainages and streetlights and we shall restore the lost glory of the oil city.”

Truly, with the N78 billion ambitious infrastructural renewal work underway in Warri, the Ministry of Oil and Gas on the other hand is building momentum for the return of oil companies that have hitherto fled the once flourishing and vibrant city.

Leading a delegation for preliminary dialogue for Shell Producing Development Company, SPDC to return to Warri, the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Chief Vincent Oyibode said he had the Governor Sheriff Oborevwori mandate to interface with SPDC in Port Harcourt to return back to Warri.

“We made them to understand that the Governor being a home-bred ‘Warri Boy’ knows what is right for the people.

“We also justified our request with the quick intervention of the Governor when some communities threatened to shut down a Shell flow station at Otumara in the State. The prompt attention given to the matter by the Governor  made them to understand our position which they applauded.

“Then, we also discussed why conflict resolution, one of the excuses they gave for their exit, could not suffice anymore and that the Oborevwori administration is grassroots oriented,” he said.

No doubt, the exit of the oil companies from Warri led to the increasing spate of crime and joblessness in the city as Shell, Halliburton, Schlumberger and others relocated to safer abode for their business operations.

As the dwindling purchasing power and the night life of the once bustling city took a flight, Warri and its environs became a slum and an abandoned wasteland. This is the narrative Governor Sheriff Oborevwori wants to change. We all must join hands in achieving this goal.

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