The Federal Government through the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the award of Phase 1 engineering, procurement & construction contract for Oloibiri Museum & Research Centre (OMRC) in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Report from the FEC meeting on Wednesday, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, further approved the scope of work which would include a masterpiece museum and a research centre.
It was gathered that the project, which was awarded to Julius Berger with a completion period of 30 months is expected to close a major gap in the nation’s quest for homegrown technology inputs required to service exploration and production activities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
It will be recalled that the establishment of OMRC has been at the concept stage for over three decades and the inability to progress to the construction phase is viewed as a historical oversight as an operational museum and research centre would preserve the heritage and developments in the oil and gas sector similar to what obtains in other oil-producing nations.
A statement issued to newsmen through the Department of Corporate Communications, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, stated that the details of the project indicate that it has four development partners, comprising 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), and each entity would contribute to the development of the monument in the ratio of 40, 30, 20 and 10 per cent respectively.
The statement reads: “The project team for the symbolic project was first launched in August 2020 by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, with the inauguration of key project committees and setting of delivery timelines”.
The project is approved as part of President Buhari’s signature programmes that would leave behind enduring legacies, and impact the oil and gas community, the people of the Niger Delta, and the entire nation.
However,the historical essence of the project is to convert the location where the first oil was discovered into a monumental edifice that would preserve the heritage and developments in the oil and gas sector.
The socio-economic impact of the project includes employment generation, tourism, research,technology development and integration of oil and gas to host communities into the mainstream developmental narrative of the country.
With the contract approval, the groundbreaking ceremony is expected to be held within the first quarter of 2023 and will mark the beginning of the upliftment in the quality of life of the immediate host community, Bayelsa State and people of the Niger Delta.
Commenting on the approval, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Sylva commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his special love for the Niger Delta region.
To ensure timely execution, the project created two committees and five project teams to provide the necessary support and supervision essential to deliver the OMRC project.
The committees include the Steering Committee, which would be responsible for providing leadership and the Coordinating Committee, responsible for providing oversight on activities of all the  project teams, which include Construction, Funds Mobilization and Management, Community Relations, Health, Safety and Environment and Secretariat, which is situated in NCDMB Head Office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
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