The Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Government to direct the Petroleum Technology Development Fund and concerned contractors to begin immediate construction of the oil, gas and research centre at Oloibiri in Bayelsa State.
This call was made during plenary on Tuesday, October 8.
It comes on the heels of a motion by Senator Degi Biobarakuma (PDP Bayelsa) and co-sponsored by 28 other Senators, centred on the need to ensure immediate commencement of the Oil and Gas Research Centre and Museum in Oloibiri in Bayelsa.
Presenting his lead debate at plenary, Biobarakuma said that 63 years after discovery, exploitation and production of crude oil, the Oloibiri oil field and its surrounding communities had suffered neglect and environmental degradation.
Biobarakuma recalled that the design and foundation stone was laid by ex-President Shehu Shegari in 1983, noting that the project was however halted, no sooner than it commenced.
He said the Federal government had removed the project from the National Commission for Museum and Monuments and domiciled it with the PTDF in 2011.
According to him, the project remains moribund, despite the transfer.
He said it was worrisome that the contract, valued at N35 billion, was yet to be completed, leaving inhabitants of the host communities with negative memories of oil exploration and production.
Senators, who supported the motion include George Sekibo, (PDP Rivers), Ibrahim Oloriebe ( APC Kwara ) among others.
Following affirmative voice vote, the Senate accordingly resolved to commend the Federal government for the conceptualisation, design and award of contract for the establishment of oil, gas research centre and Museum in Oloibiri.