Oil-rich Bayelsa Seeks Investors For Refinery
Oil-rich Bayelsa State is shopping for investors to establish a modular refinery as part of measures to fast-track socio-economic development of the state.
The Technical Adviser to the Governor on Investment, Dr. Jonathan Obuebite, announced the plan in Yenagoa during the Bayelsa Economic Roundtable, News Agency of Nigeria reported.
The forum was convened by the Coordinator, Bayelsa Think Tank Group, Mr. Ebiekure Eradiri. Obuebite also disclosed that plans are underway to revitalise the Bayelsa State Gas Turbine to ensure stable power supply in the state, adding that power remains pivotal to economic growth..
“Economy is all about investment, and investment is the driver of the economy. For us as a government, we are looking at the oil and gas sector and we are appealing to investors to come. For any economy to grow, you need power. For agriculture to succeed you also need power. The state has the Bayelsa State Gas Turbine. As I speak, the government is in talks with different groups.
“We want them to come and take over that gas turbine, make it viable, sell power to the state government and Bayelsa people.It is our property, it is our investment but let us also be customers to our own investment as offtakers. Secondly, we are talking about building our refinery. You know they talk about modular refineries and the rest.
“Bayelsa has all it takes, so we are trying to encourage the investors to partner the state government to build a refinery. As I speak, I am happy that some of my colleagues are here. We are in different committees. We are discussing and engaging different persons. The offers are there; they have indicated interest. But investment is not something that you do haphazardly. It is a process. You have to cross the t’s and dot the i’s,” Obuebite said.
He assured the people of the state that the Douye Diri administration is more than committed to make the people of Bayelsa and the government to think out of the box to change the investment narratives in the state.
“The fact is that with allocation, we can’t move Bayelsa to where we are going. The states that are succeeding here in this country do not depend on monthly allocation. I want to say to all Bayelsa people please tighten your seatbelt, we are ready to sail and we are ready to move and Bayelsa will turn out to be one of the investment destinations in this country,” Obuebite added.
He said the government had provided the enabling environment to make the agricultural sector flourish in the state, stressing that mechanisation should be the new thinking of farmers and investors to maximise the gains of the sector.
Alagoa said: “One of our goals is to ensure that everybody who wants to farm can farm.
“If we are going to develop our farming, it is not Douye Diri that is going to make the prosperity happen, he is to drive the process. It is left for us all to make it happen.
“We appeal to Bayelsans at all levels to accept what the governor is doing in the sector.
“We must all think outside the box to move agriculture to the next level in the state. Let all of us be passionate about moving forward. In 2021, there is a lot dedicated to mechanised farming in the state.”
On his part, the Convener of the Bayelsa Economic Roundtable, Ebiekure Eradiri, urged the government to support entrepreneurs by promoting small and medium scale enterprises.
He expressed concern that most of the funds budgeted for SME globally were being under-accessed, attributing it to lack of awareness.
Eradiri also challenged the government to provide an enabling environment in terms of security, tax incentives, access to loans, among others, to enable small businesses to grow in the state.
NAN reports that currently, two modular refineries supported by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) are under construction in Bayelsa.
They are a 2,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity Atlantic Refineries at Opoama in Brass, Bayelsa and the 12,000 bpd Hydroskimming modular refinery being constructed by Azikel Petroleum Ltd, at Obunagha, Gbarain, Bayelsa.