– As Rivers government wants NLNG to add a burst to East-West Road
By Ignatius Chukwu
The much-awaited road to Bonny in Rivers State may be open to traffic in March 2024. This was made known Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at a meeting between the Rivers State governor, Siminalayi Fubara, and the management of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
According to NLNG’s MD, Dr Philip Mshelbila, NLNG’s commitment to Rivers State has been expressed through many projects, one of them being the 38-kilometre Bonny-Bodo Road.
He stated that the N120Bn historic Bonny-Bodo project, when completed, would open a vista of developmental opportunities for the State, which can transform the socio-economic landscape and better the lives of people in the State.
He assured the government that the road would be completed within the first quarter of 2024.
Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) and the Rivers State Government have renewed their commitment to developing healthcare and infrastructure in the State.
During a courtesy visit to the Executive Governor of Rivers State, NLNG’s Executive Management, and Olalekan Ogunleye (Deputy Managing Director), assured the Rivers State government of the company’s continuous support for the State through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to meet common goals of sustainable development.
“In Rivers State, we have a strong rationale to invest in health, education, infrastructure development, and empowerment, which are NLNG’s CSR pillars, to support sustainable development. NLNG considers itself a corporate citizen of Rivers State, not only because of its location here but also because it is committed to investing in the State’s and its people’s long-term development.
“We do not take the support and friendly environment provided by the State Government and the people of Rivers for granted. This is why we see ourselves as an integral part of Rivers State and we want to contribute in the best possible way to the State’s development,” he stated.
He added that NLNG has recently intervened in the healthcare sector in the State, stating that the importance of effective healthcare delivery cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts the quality of life.
“We recently completed an Infectious Disease Unit at Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH). The Infectious Diseases Unit (IDU) is a modern healthcare infrastructure with associated facilities that will help fight infectious diseases in the State and remain a legacy for future generations. We have also committed to equipping the Renal Transplant Centre at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital as part of NLNG’s Hospital Support Programme, aimed at improving medical facilities across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.
“Additionally, the Company has also established the Bonny Community Health Insurance Programme (BCHIP), a community-based health insurance partnership with the Rivers State Government and Bonny Kingdom, making healthcare services more accessible and affordable for the people of Bonny Island,” Mshelbila stated.
He reaffirmed NLNG’s commitment to working with the Rivers State government to improve the lives of the people of the State.
In his response, Gov Fubara, commended NLNG for its efforts in the State and requested that NLNG do more in the area of CSR in the State.
He also pledged the State Government’s support to ensure NLNG continues to carry out its operations in the State without disruption.
Fubara pressed for timely delivery of NLNG’s planned extension of the Bodo-Bonny Road project to the section of the East-West Road in Ogoni axis as the state government is desirous of supporting the company on the project.
Gov Fubara tasked the company not to delay any further in ending the associated sufferings of Rivers people on the East-West Road.
He maintained that his administration is working hard to sustain the prevailing security enjoyed to make the state safer and also create a more business-friendly environment that will boost the confidence of investors.
Fubara also recalled how effective collaboration between the NLNG and the State government had resulted in the facilitation and establishment of a renal dialysis centre at the Rivers State Teaching Hospital.
The governor, however, urged the management of NLNG to increase their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to host communities by engaging more youths in their ongoing Train 7 Project with permanent employment and supply of materials.