Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Agitators from the Niger Delta region have again written to President Mohammadu Buhari on the Zabazaba Deepwater project urging him to sign the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the project before the 2019 general elections.
The Zabazaba Deepwater project being developed by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company has a reserve of 560 million barrels of oil as a stand-alone development in the eastern portion of the Niger Delta in water depths ranging from 1,200 to 2,400 metres.
General Premobowei Julius and Godswill Enato on behalf of concerned agitators from the Niger Delta region in an open letter to Buhari said the Niger Delta region and Nigeria as a whole would benefit with the signing of the FID for the project.
The agitators while commending the President for the projects and programmes executed by his administration in the Niger Delta region stated that the Zabazaba project would be a catalyst for development with the active participation of local companies in line with the local content policy of the Buhari administration.
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According to them signing of the FID would place the Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC) government in an advantage position when campaigning for votes for 2019 election.
The letter reads in part: “Mr President, the immediate benefit of the signing of the FID includes the construction of the Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) units and subsea installations and drilling rigs. This will set an enviable record in local content with local companies set to fabricate 50 per cent of the FSPO in the country which will be a major boost to the country’s economy and the local-content initiative being promoted and prioritised by the present government.
“The Zabazaba Deepwater project is capable of generating millions of jobs and by 2020 when Agip intends to produce the first oil, it would generate $8billion for Nigeria. Overall the effect of the Zabazaba Deepwater project on the Nigerian economy would be unprecedented and the multiplier effect on the local economies of the catchment areas in the Niger Delta will be huge.”