Governor Diri Hails FG Over Siting of Oil and Gas Institute in Bayelsa

…Calls for Synergy, Expeditious Take-off

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has commended the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government for siting the Oil and Gas Equipment and Machinery Development Institute (OGEMDI) in the state to promote research and technological advancement of the oil and gas industry.

Senator Diri gave the commendation on Tuesday when officials of the National Agency for Science Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) led by its Research Director, Dr. Samuel Olusunle paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.

Senator Diri represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo said although the establishment of the institute was coming a little late, the gesture will help in giving Bayelsa a sense of belonging as the cradle of crude oil production in the country.

Senator Diri, who expressed joy that NASENI had come to inspect the site of the project, assured the federal agency that the state government was ready to do everything within its reach to ensure the take-off of the establishment in no distant time.

He maintained that establishing the institute in the state will not only help to gradually assuage the feeling of marginalization and economic exclusion of the Niger Delta over the years, but also enhance the application of science and technology in developing the oil and gas sector.

While calling on NASENI to expedite action on the commencement of the project, Senator Diri also urged the agency to work closely with his administration to ensure that the Institute comes into fruition for the benefit of Bayelsa, the Niger Delta and the country in general.

His words: “We are expressing our profound appreciation to President Bola Tinubu and the team of your board for deciding to site this institute in our state based on our request.

“Clearly, as a people, we have always had this impression that the federal government has not been fair to us all this while. This is one institution that we think is coming a little bit late to us. But it is better to be late than never.

“We believe that this is going to be a very big leap in terms of trying to jump-start our forage into our technological breakthrough; in terms of contributing technologically towards our sustenance of the oil and gas sector.

“We really want to see how you can quickly run with this project. It is quite elating that you have come to inspect the site for the project so that we can have the dividends of this institution.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Research Director of NASENI, Dr. Samuel Olusunle, explained that his team was in Bayelsa to see the temporary structures and location donated by the state government to facilitate the take-off of the Oil and Gas Institute.

He also appealed to the Governor to avail NASENI with the certificate of occupancy and other relevant documents pertaining to the land donated for the building of the permanent site of the new federal establishment in the state.

Dr Olusunle said: “We have been asked to come here by our Executive Vice Chairman to come and see the preparedness of the state having received your letter recently.

“Two things stand out here: We want to see where we can take-off initially. We also want to see where we will be in the next few months or years because I believe the places already earmarked for us will meet our standards.”

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