The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Simbi Wabote, has urged youths in Bayelsa State to protect the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park being developed in Emeyal 1 community in the state.
Wabote, who spoke on Saturday during the ground-breaking ceremony of the park, warned against destruction of the facility by community members, particularly the youth.
He said that any moment the NCDMB found it difficult to operate from the area due to destruction and disruption, it would not hesitate to move the project elsewhere.
He noted that there are many communities in the state beckoning to have the facility sited in their areas.
Wabote said, “I am glad that the stakeholders are holding up to their commitments to see the project succeed because there are so many communities that are looking for this project.
“The very minute we cannot operate from this place, I make bold to say that we will not hesitate to move the project elsewhere.
“Therefore, it behoves you to see this as your project and to protect it with all that you have.”
Shedding light on the park, the ES said that the facility would have shops where manufacturing concerns would come and incubate themselves.
He said that the park would also have a training facility, hostel and accommodation for workers, adding that it would also have all the facilities that people desire in an industrial park.
He assured the community members that when completed, no fewer than 3,000 jobs would be created and many of them willing to work would be engaged.
He said the project was not being sited in Emeyal 1 because the board wanted to take oil or gas from the area but to bring development to the area.
Wabote stated, “With this facility, development is coming to your community. So, if you don’t create the enabling environment for this project to succeed in line with the plan, the only conclusion to draw is that you don’t like the future of your children, because the future of your children is also here.
“So, if you destroy and interrupt a project that will foresee the future of your children, then I take and conclude that you don’t want to plan for your children.
“Few weeks ago, I had the cause to call for a town hall meeting with key stakeholders from the community and beyond on the need to support this project aimed at bringing development and investors to this area of the state.
“Therefore, the project will not tolerate situations where people don’t want to work but all what they want to do is to become ghost workers to be earning salaries or wages where they have not sown, that we will not tolerate with regard to this project.
“Luckily for me, I am also from Bayelsa. Therefore, so many communities are beckoning for this project. I hereby solicit your support and cooperation. If there are any issues you think that are not going according to plan, please do not hesitate to draw our attention but don’t get into a situation of destroying the project.”
He also urged the contractors not to abandon the project at the bud, asking them to do their best to ensure safety and security at the site and promote cordial and harmonious relationship with the communities.
Wabote also urged the contractrors handling the project to ensure that the facility is delivered on time according to the standards.
He said, “I beg you (contractors) to remain within the budget and also ensure that the community youths and able-bodied men that are prepared to work are given a fair chance.
“We believe we should also utilise the work packages to develop local capabilities without compromising quality of jobs.”