An Ijaw socio-political group, Patriots of Ijaw Nation (PIN), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the Zabazaba Deepwater Project in order for the country to reap its huge economic benefits and boost local content in the oil and gas industry.
PIN made the call yesterday in Yenagoa in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kesiye Newman.
PIN stated: "We most sincerely and respectfully request our president to approve the Zabazaba Deepwater Project because of its enormous economic benefits to the country. The $13.5 billion Zabazaba Deepwater Project will be executed by Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) in partnership with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).
It involves the development of the Zabazaba deepwater field, a greenfield offshore licence in the eastern portion of the Niger Delta with proven reserves of 560 million barrels of oil, which will increase the country's daily crude oil production.
"Most importantly, the Zabazaba Deepwater Project will be a significant boost to the country's economy and the local content initiative being promoted and prioritised by the present government. Information from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board revealed that the technical and commercial bids for the project had comfortably met the government's aspiration of growing and maximising local content at the most competitive cost."
Highlighting the local content potentials of the project, the group said NAE and SNEPCO, which are the major contractors, had "concluded plans for in-country fabrication and integration of the topsides of their projects' Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessels.
"The local content component of the Zabazaba Deepwater Project is unequalled, and its impact on the Nigerian economy, when fully executed, would be unprecedented. When it becomes operational, the project is expected to generate at least $8 billion for Nigeria.
"Besides, the multiplier effect of the project on the local economies of the catchment areas in the Niger Delta will be huge. And it will be a major boost to the Buhari administration's commitment to ensure peace in the region through the profitable engagement of idle hands."
PIN said approval of the Zabazaba Deepwater Project would underscore the Buhari government's commitment to indigenous development of the oil and gas industry and demonstrate its belief in implementing core projects that would drive development in different parts of the country.