Simbi Wabote threatens to abandon host community if they scare away the next investors.
Apart from the Dangote petrochemicals, refinery and fertilizer plants complex that fled the Niger Delta to Lekki, it has been revealed that another world class company recently fled to Lekki instead of Bayelsa State where land had been procured for it.
This was revealed by Simbi Wabote, executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) when he said the land is now being hawked to new investors.
He revealed at an event that the Board had in 2013 purchased 10.6 hectares of land at Polaku in Bayelsa State for the purpose of establishing a pipe mill, but discussions with Yulong Pipemill of China and other investors did not yield expected results, leaving the land to lie fallow for almost seven years.
Identifying reasons the Yulong Pipemill did not continue with the pipemill project, the ES said the company had concerns about security, cooperation from the host community and return on their investment, especially after the crash of crude oil prices in the international market. He noted that the company moved to Lekki Free Zone in Lagos and set up the pipemill within six months in 2016.
He charged the Polaku chiefs and leaders to support the new investment because it will place their community on the map of oil and gas manufacturing activities and provide job opportunities for their children. Your roles should include checkmating any individual or group that wants to derail this wonderful opportunity from coming into fruition in your community, he advised.
He also promised that the Board would set up a community interface committee that would comprise of representatives of the community, the investor and NCDMB, with responsibilities to ensure community participation in the project, enhance cordial relationship and promote compliance with the Community Content elements of the project.
He however warned that the Board would move the investment to another location if the Polaku community became difficult, uncooperative or unreceptive.
In their comments, leaders of the community pledged their support to the incoming investment and assured that it will not be disturbed in any way.
They stated that Polaku is a peaceful community and was desirous of development. The women leaders also welcomed the project and expressed willingness to be part of the workforce during the construction stages of the gas cylinder manufacturing plant.
The Board had signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, and agreement with Rungas and two other companies during the 9th Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) Workshop held in December 2019 at the NCDMB Conference Centre, Yenagoa.