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.
The Minister would also perform the groundbreaking of the 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 discovered in 1957 by Royal Dutch Shell. This event is coming 66 years after the historic discovery of hydrocarbon resources, which became a turning point for the Nigerian economy.
The Museum and Research Center project is being developed by NCDMB in collaboration with the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), and the Bayelsa State Government (BYSG).
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on 8th February, 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, 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 oversight that 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 the 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 the 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 for researchers and other persons that would visit the Oloibiri Museum 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.