…mulls oil investments in Brass Island
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has donated a modular science laboratory to Model Government Secondary School, Twon Brass and an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre to Government Secondary School Okpoama, both in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The ICT centre was commissioned on Monday by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva. The facility has two air conditioned rooms, each fully equipped with 31 computers linked to the internet, projector and printer. The centre also has an administrative office, instructor’s office, conference hall and a stand-by generator.
The science laboratory was commissioned by the Member Representing Nembe/Brass Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Isreal Sunny Goli and it has separate laboratories for Physics, Chemistry and Biology and is supported with solar power.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote explained that capacity building is one of NCDMB’s key objectives and the agency had decided to promote such efforts from the primary school level up to the university level. So far, NCDMB had donated 25 ICT centres to secondary schools across the country and built the capacity of teachers in some states, including Kastina and Bayelsa sates, as part of its capacity building and corporate social responsibility programmes.
According to him, “We believe in enhancing the quality of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It is sad that in some secondary schools, particularly in remote locations, students are taught these subjects without any practical experience.
“Our strategy going forward is to encourage STEM education as well as ICT in secondary schools across the country. These days every entrance examination is done online and we if don’t start inculcating those knowledge in secondary students, most of them will fall behind in meeting up with the ICT age.”
On strategies for maintaining the centres, Wabote explained that NCDMB had instituted a sustainability programme, which includes a one year management arrangement and training of staff and locals to operate the centres.
He assured that NCDMB will run periodic assessments of the facilities and develop new strategies to sustain them. “We have a strategic objective and a plan to follow through on most of these centres we have established for sustainability. For us, it is an end to end thinking in most of these activities we are doing”.
Speaking on oil and gas investment opportunities that could be developed on the Brass Island, the Executive Secretary described the island as a strategic location, stating that it is the closest point from where one can access many of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platforms that operate off the shores of Nigerian waters, including Bonga main.
He noted some of the offshore oil and gas fields were currently being accessed from far locations like Lagos, with considerable cost implications. He stated that developing and utilizing nearby locations like Brass Island for oil and gas logistics operations would help the industry meet the recent charge by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources for players in the industry to ensure a significant reduction in the cost per barrel of Nigeria’s crude oil production.
He said “part of the strategy is to site logistics requirements where it is easy to access, reducing time, fuel consumption and improving turnaround maintenance time. A serious study is going on currently to see the things that would be possible on the Island of Brass in order bring down our cost of production.”
He listed other investments opportunities that were being considered by NCDMB for Brass Island to include sitting a modular refinery in partnership with Waltersmith Petroleum Limited and utilizing feed stock from the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, which operates in the location. He added, “It is also a veritable location for even a dry dock facility or a floating dock facility. NCDMB is currently studying a strategy for establishing and enhancing all the existing dry dock facilities to maintain our ships, light crafts and also expand our integration base in the country.”