By CrossRiverWatch Admin
I have no doubt that the multi-billion Naira Oil and Gas Park Scheme in Onimankiong, Odukpani LGA, being the first of its kind in Nigeria will cause unprecedented economic development in the host community and Cross River State in general.
A very special thanks must go to Sen. Gershom Bassey who worked hard to ensure the achievement of this flagship federal project in his constituency.
It is a fact that in the history of Cross River State, this achievement outclasses every known legislative contribution by any legislator.
The Oil and Gas Park Scheme’s mandate is to develop the capacity of local supply chain for effective and efficient service delivery without compromising oil and gas industry standards.
What this means is that the park, in collaboration with international oil producing companies will provide on-the-job training and mentorship for local small and medium scale enterprises to make them more ready to face the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy.
At this juncture, I call on the constituents of Sen. Gershom Bassey to take full advantage of the Park and get themselves ready to be fully involved in this laudable project, they must not lay back and let others take their place.
They must as a matter of urgency register companies in the Corporate Affairs Commission so as to put themselves in the right footing to gain maximally from the benefits of the Park.
They must strive to acquire Oil and gas certification training and participate in Local Content Investment Fora.
They must create a close liaison with the Local Content Board and the management of the Park in order to ensure that they tap into all the programs of the Park and also gain from the Nigerian Content Development Fund established by section 104 of the NOGIC Act.
The Content Development Fund has about $600 million which is used to address developmental, financial and liquidity challenges of local oil and gas entities. These benefits must not elude Cross River South.
With this operational understanding, Cross River South, in the very near future will be able to produce major oil and gas players in the Nigerian Petroleum sector. This will go a long way in the eradication of poverty in the constituency.
Another laudable legislative contribution of Sen. Gershom Bassey is his Bill on the establishment of Federal Polytechnic Akpabuyo (SB 652), which scaled through the first reading in the Senate on 29th March, 2018.
I believe that apart from the improvement in the standard of education of his constituents, the Federal Polytechnic Akpabuyo will ensure that the Oil and Gas Park does not lack trainees.
Now, the responsibility of Cross River South is to recognize these potentials and embrace them for future engagement.
Barrister Ita Essien is SLA to Senator Gershom Bassey and writes from Abuja.
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