The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva will on Tuesday perform the groundbreaking of the Oloibiri Museum and Research Center (OMRC), in Ogbia Local Government of Bayelsa State on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. The Minister would also perform the groundbreaking of the NCDMB Conference Hotel Project (CHP),a three-star hotel being developed by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) at Swali, adjacent to the 17-storey Nigerian Content Tower.
The Oloibiri Museum and Research Center will be erected at the location where commercial quantities of oil were first discoveredin 1957 by Royal Dutch Shell. This event is coming 66 years afterthe historic discovery of hydrocarbon resources, which became a turning point for the Nigerian economy.
The Museum and Research Center is 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 (BYSG).
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on February 8 awarded the contract for the Phase-1 Engineering, Procurement & Construction of the OMRC to Julius Berger.
Speaking ahead of the groundbreaking event, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, who serves as the chairman of the project’s steering committee explained that the Museum and Research Center would correct a historical oversightthat 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.
He added 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.
The museum will equally encourage tourism, and integration of oil and gas host communities into the development of the sector.
On the Conference Hotel Project, the NCDMB boss explained that it is designed to provide suitable accommodation for stakeholders and other personalities that visit Yenagoa for business or to participate in the several oil and gas events organised periodically at the Board’s 1000-seater ultra-modern Conference Centre.
He added that the hotel will equally provide accommodation forresearchers and other persons that would visit the OloibiriMuseum as well as boost the attraction of Yenagoa as a tourist destination.
The event is expected to be attended by the chief executive of the sponsoring entities, bigwigs from the oil and gas industry and stakeholders of the Niger Delta region.