Bayelsa wants full benefits of oil, gas deals

The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, has decried actions and practices that deprive the state of its interests and benefits in oil and gas deals.

Dickson spoke while declaring open the 8th Practical Nigerian Content Forum in Yenagoa, with the theme: ‘Driving Economic Development and Sustainability’.

According to a statement from the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Affairs, Mr Daniel Alabrah, he decried a situation where major oil and gas deals were concluded in faraway places with little or no consideration for the interest of oil-producing communities.

He restated the need for oil majors to respect and obey the Local Content Act by relocating their headquarters to Bayelsa where most of their operations were being carried out.

The governor, however, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and other stakeholders for their efforts towards completing the construction of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board headquarters project in Yenagoa.

He said, “The idea of local content is a great one, and we should not let it down. We are grateful that the Federal Government created the NCMDB with its headquarters in Bayelsa where the story of oil and gas started.

“We hope that by the time that wonderful edifice is completed and put to use, we will see more oil and gas deals being completed in the great state of Bayelsa that will add to the local economy. But we frown on the current situation where most of these mega deals are concluded in faraway places.”

Dickson added, “When you talk of local content, we have to be completely local. It means oil-producing companies have to stay here, open their offices and interface more directly and robustly with the communities, state government and the NCMDB.

“Just like Houston is the oil and gas capital of the world, we tell everybody, whether they like to hear it or not, that Bayelsa is the oil and gas capital of Nigeria and of Africa. So, we are always appreciative when major conferences and seminars like this take place in Bayelsa because we take it as a recognition of our historic contribution, which a number of people may want to conveniently forget.

So, we thank you for bringing back this Practical Nigerian Content Forum back to Bayelsa.”
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