Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has assured that the gas project initiated by his administration would help to stimulate and boost the economy of the state.
Briefing State House correspondents after a meeting with stakeholders in the industry at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, last week, Akeredolu explained that the project was part of the economic diversification plans of his administration.
“We were at the meeting that has the Chief of Staff directly and what we have come to do is on the economic diversification initative. As you are all aware, sometime in June, we had our summit in Akure. And following the summit, we had about five points that we needed to take up now.
“We have to come in and to hold meeting with all stakeholders, including NNPC, Chevron, Shell and others, and even some of our investors, to discuss. Because we need to be on a spot; it is a one stop shop so that we discuss these initiatives,” Akeredolu said.The Governor said a lot of progress was made during the discussions at the meeting, which would be beneficial to Ondo State in the gas project.
“We have made progress in our discussion. What Ondo State is particular about, NNPC was able to even enlighten us the more. We were particular about being on the gas plant and it has been made clear to us that we have always been on the national gas plant, and that all that is now needed is for us to decide what and what to be done. We have the OK LNG and we felt that something has to be done there.
“NNPC has put a lot of effort to have that place developed but part of their partnership withdrew from it but if Ondo State is now keenly interested, we can get some of the investors to come and have OK LNG take off again for the purpose which it was established and other purposes which can be accommodated.
“So, these are the discussions we have had and in other to push this, we now have to put together a working committee that is going to work on all our discussions and in the next four week, we are back to now continue with our work”, he said
On the security of oil pipelines, Akeredolu said Ondo is a peaceful state and assured that pipelines in the area would not be protected from vandals while also commending the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government in ensuring the security of oil pipelines in the country.
“As you know, security of pipelines, NEC has been doing a lot, even Nigeria itself has been doing a lot and we must thank the government under President Muhammadu Buhari; you can see that not much about this pipeline vandalism as at now.
“But Ondo State is a peaceful area and we can give guarantee that the pipelines within our area will never be vandalised.That is what we can give guarantee on in Ondo State.
“I am sure that with cooperation, Lagos is trying to do that now. Lagos and Ondo States, we are trying to work together, even on the riverrine areas. So there is no way. And when you talk about gas, the pipelines are safer and I think we will guarantee the safety,” he said.
Akeredolu explained that gas reserve in Ondo State was large and would not be in short supply because of the gas pipeline that passes through the state.
“The estimate of gas reserve in Ondo State is large. You know gas reserve is not limited to Ondo State, even if we need gas, it does not necessarily have to come from Ondo State alone. You have the pipeline that comes from Bonny, Extravos, everywhere.
“We have too but the pipeline we have now is from the east, it is coming that way and whether we like it or not, the ones at the coastal line is the one that will go and get to Lekki and there is no way it will pass, it will pass through the shores of Ondo State. So when it comes to the issue of gas, it is a national thing. Ondo State has its own large deposit but it is national, wherever we want gas from, we can get because we have a pipeline,” he added.