By yemisi Izuora
Nigeria LNG (NLNG) Limited has sought for a more robust partnership with the Government of Rivers State on the protection of its staff and assets as well as the provision of a peaceful business environment for continued and successful operations in the State.
It said it will also boost its community engagement and skill acquisition of community people.
Speaking at the opening of NLNG’s Head Office in Port Harcourt, Babs Omotowa, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG said without Rivers State government support, it would be difficult for the company to accomplish laudable achievements it has come to be known for.
He said “Any negative impact to our people and assets would hamper our ability to deliver on our obligations to our buyers and adversely affect the value we bring to government revenue.
“Our relationship with Rivers State represents a unique partnership between government and a corporate giant, coming together for a shared purpose: to impact in the most positive way possible a better Rivers State and Nigeria.
“Today, by this ground-breaking to erect our new head office, we make an unequivocal statement, that Nigeria LNG Limited is a partner with the people of Rivers State in the sustainable development of the state and its people. Our resolve in 2010 to relocate NLNG’s head office to Port-Harcourt right next to its support base was and still is a business decision.
It made good business sense to be in close proximity to our world-class plant located across the river in Bonny. It also made sense to be closer to the people and over hundred and ten (110) pipeline communities whose activities have a direct impact on our company’s ability to deliver liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids (NGLs) to many locations around the world,” he added.
Mr. Omotowa assured the Rivers State government of continued support through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.
He said “we continue to support the government in building capacity and empowering its people through various scholarship awards across secondary and tertiary levels of education and, more recently, through our support for the University of Port Harcourt to upgrade its engineering laboratory.
The upgrade comes at a cost of $2 million (Two million Dollars).
“In Bonny, where we have our plant, we have signed a tripartite agreement with the state government and building contractors to earmark N4.5billion (four and half billion Naira) towards the construction of model secondary school that will be equipped with modern equipment and apparatus for teaching young minds.
“Nigeria LNG, through the Bonny Vocational Centre (BVC), also continues to train many young Nigerians from the community, River State and the nation as a whole, equipping them with vocational and entrepreneurial skills that prepare them to be self-reliant and contribute positively to the society. Plans are underway to expand the Centre with a N5 billion investment.”
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Governor of Rivers State, in his response, said “we regard the head office project as crucial to us as a state and as a people. We commend the present NLNG management for taking the bold steps towards erecting this magnificent edifice in Port Harcourt. On our part, we promise to provide you with the support you may need to secure the construction site and ensure that work goes on smoothly. We appreciate NLNG for the various intervention projects the company is undertaking in its host communities especially on Bonny Island.”
The governor also commended NLNG for its Train 7 expansion project drive as well as NLNG’s desire to financially support the Bonny-Bodo road construction.
In company of the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr Ipalibo Banigo, the governor laid the foundation stone of the head office building.