By Our Reporter
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed implicit confidence in the ability of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to deliver on critical construction works even as he enjoined the country’sleading construction company to once again prove its historically established, trusted andreliable engineering construction competence.
Represented by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the President spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre and the Local Content Conference Hotel both in Bayelsa state Tuesday just as former President,Goodluck Jonathan among other guests at the event lauded the award of the construction contract to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc saying that the project is in safe professional hands.
According to the President, “I trust Julius Berger will deliver the project in due time and according to specifications and timeline meant for its completion.”He encouraged Julius Berger to, in its usual operational practice, carry their host communitiesalong in executing the projects. Noting that the Federal Government has put needed machinery in place, including funding arrangements to ensure hitch-free delivery of the project,
President Buhari urged the communities to own and protect the projects, he emphasized the need for the contractors to comply with the Community Content Guidelines of the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB Act
.Said Buhari, “I hereby direct the contractors to integrate the host communities and the irtraditional institutions and skilled youths in the various scopes of the projects.
He further added that, “I also expect that you will build capacities where necessary to ensurea hitch-free project delivery.
Specifically, I recommend that the contractors should study the Community Content Guidelines issued by the NCDMB
.”For the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Waribote, “Julius Berger is areputable construction company in Nigeria and it is not a stranger to this terrain. I have nodoubt it will put up a befitting edifice here for this project.”
Bayelsa state governor, Senator Douye Diri represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National PetroleumCompany Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari, the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Samuel Ogboku and the Obanobhan of Ogbia Kingdom, His Majesty,King Charles Owaba and a representative of Otuabagi,
Prof. Teddy Adias expressed similar confidence in Julius Berger to do the needful on the project even as they respectively pledged their cooperation for the success of the project.Tracing the history of Nigeria’s oil industry and its developmental impact on the country to the discovery of petroleum in commercial quantities in Oloibiri in 1956,
Julius Berger’s Managing Director, Engr. Dr. Lars Richter, in his speech at the event stated that, “the Oloibiri Museum will showcase the history of the oil industry in Nigeria and the region, providing aplatform to reflect on the past, present and the future of the industry. ” Richter added that the Oloibiri museum will also be “an essential center for education and research, providinga valuable resource of scholars, students and researchers. ”
In his now widely acknowledged proactive interest in the well-being of Julius Berger’s host communities, the company’s MD, Engr.Dr. Lars Richter also said that, “…the (Oloibiri)museum will also celebrate the unique cultural heritage of the people of Oloibiri, showcasing their life, traditions and contributions to Nigeria’s development.”
He further added that “…this museum will become a source of inspiration, a place to learn and reflect,a platform for dialogue and engagement. ” Dr. Richter thanked the Project Shareholders, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund(PTDF), the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the ShellPetroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the Bayelsa State Government for promoting the iconic project, and for choosing Julius Berger as the prefered contractor to deliver the Olibiri Museum.
Pledging the company’s professionalism and proven track records in project accomplishment, Engr. Dr. Lars Richter said, “I am confident, and without doubt, that withthe strong commitment of our client and the project shareholders, Julius Berger will unfailingly deliver on the project requirements, and on time.”
Other important dignitaries at the ceremony included the Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, HisExcellency Timipre Sylva, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development andMonitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau, the Chairman of Julius Berger NigeriaPlc, Mutiu Sunmonu, CON; and the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum DevelopmentCompany (SPDC), Osagie Okunbor.
The Oloibiri Museum and Research Center is being erected at the location where commercial quantities of oil was first discovered in 1957 by Royal Dutch Shell.
The historical museum is coming sixty-six years after the epochal discovery of hydrocarbonresources, which became a strategic and positive turning point for the Nigerian economy.
Furthermore, the Centre is being developed as a collaboration between the PetroleumTechnology Development Fund (PTDF), the Nigerian Content Development and MonitoringBoard (NCDMB), Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and theBayelsa State Government (BYSG).
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on February 8, 2023 awarded the contract for the Phase-1 Engineering, Procurement & Construction of the OMRC to Julius Berger.
When completed, the Centre will aid the retention of historical artefacts of Nigeria’s oil and gasjourney, dissemination of knowledge across generations, creation of an attractive destination for tourists, and the restoration of the image of the Oloibiri community among other numerous benefits.