Nigeria

Bayelsa governor seeks investors for OPL 240

Governor Douye Diri has expressed worry over the development, following the lifting of the ban on interstate travel.

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has expressed his government readiness to investment discussions on developing of its oil field, OPL 240.

Diri stated this during the courtesy visit of the management of First Exploration and Production Company led by former Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Odein Ajumogobia, to the Government House in Yenagoa.

The governor said the state government, which owns the operating licence for OPL 240, is still searching for the right investors to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with.

A statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as urging First Exploration and Production Company not to repeat the same mistake as oil multinational companies in siting their office headquarters outside their operational base.

He said having its headquarters in the state brings direct investment to the immediate environment, especially as an indigenous company.

The governor assured the management of the company that his government was willing to partner and provide a conducive environment for them to operate.

According to Diri, “We have OPL 240, which has been on the table long before my government. It is still on the table, and I’m sure you would have read about the Atala oil field and the purported revocation. We do not want OPL 240 to suffer a similar fate.

“OPL 240 is owned by the Bayelsa State Government and we are looking for investors. You can take a look at it, liaise with my officials, and if you think it is worth it, we are ready to open it up. Anybody that gives us the best, we are ready to sign an MoU for the company to invest in.

“I call on you to establish your headquarters here in Yenagoa, and in that way, more of your people would be employed and you will pay most of your taxes in the state.

“We are ready to work with you. We will work with security agencies to ensure that there is peace in your area of operation.”

While commending the company for some of its intervention projects in its host communities, Diri called for synergy between it and the state government for optimal results.

He said the state government has decided to be witness to any GMoU entered into with communities, especially in the area of enterprise development, suggesting that the company adds agriculture to its corporate social responsibility for the state.

The governor recalled remarks made by an organ of the federal government about the state being bankrupt, stating that such comment can only be true because the resources of the state were being shared and distributed at the centre with a little percentage given back to “the goose that laid the golden egg.”

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of First Exploration and Production Company, Mr Odein Ajumogobia, said the company started operating offshore in the state last year, but that it was established in 2011.

Ajumogobia said the visit was to introduce the company to the governor and the state government, as well as express its commitment towards improving the living standards of its host communities.

Ajumogobia highlighted some of the firm’s corporate social responsibilities to include education, health and enterprise development.

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