Stakeholders applaud moves to host inaugural Oloibiri oil and gas festival

Posted by News Express | 29 November 2017 | 1,827 times

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•The abandoned Oloibiri oil well head

Some stakeholders in Bayelsa State have applauded the move for the maiden edition of the Nigeria's oil well festival from December 28 to January 14, 2018.

According to the stakeholders, the festival would be a significant event to reawaken the people to the abandoned potential in the land.

Shell struck oil in commercial quantities at first oil and gas field in Nigeria in 1956 and subsequently commenced production and export in 1958 at Oloibiri oil well in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

The development launched Nigeria into the league of oil exporting nations and paved its way for membership of Organisatiin of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Some of the stakeholders, who spoke in Yenagoa on Tuesday after a meeting to harness issues ahead of the festival, said the initiative for the festivity was a welcome development.

Mr Noble Akenga, Chairman of the meeting, explained that the festival would not only boost tourism but reawaken potentials left in Oloibiri land for the betterment of the people.

“Yes, it is going to be a significant event in the history of Oloibiri, the genesis of oil in the West Africa, the Bayelsa, the Niger-Delta and Nigeria at large.

“The idea is to reawaken the people and Nigerians to know what they have in the land and to set a road map for tourism development in the area instead of abandoning place,” he said.

Mrs Faith Wilkinson, President of Oloibiri Oil and Gas Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, said the festival was necessary to bring the first nation’s historic oil community back to live.

Wilkinson, who is also Coordinator of the Planning Committee of the event, expressed optimism that the programme would go a long way in promoting the rich cultural heritage of the people.

“Oloibiri is as epicentre of modern Nigeria that has touched many live. This community deserved to be celebrated and revived through the oil and gas festival.

“The importance of the festival is to display the cultural value of the people. We want to attract international and national interest through this unique festival which will serve as a cultural tourism flagship event in West Africa,” she explained.

Also speaking, Mr Nengi James, Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisations (CLO) in the state, urged for a formidable event and called for togetherness among groups.

“There is the need to keep Oloibiri land alive because this is the land that has built Nigeria. Let us make the land a tourist destination for the nation and Africa.

“I believe you cannot talk about the history of oil and gas in this country without mentioning Oloiiriri community in Ogbia,” James said.

Other stakeholders at the meeting were the Environmental Right Action, the Bayelsa Chamber of Commerce, some small and medium-scale business, business ventures and farmers.

Source: News Express

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