Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo said he will push the diversification programme of the state further by reviving moribund OK LNG, a state government-owned firm, to boost the state’s economy.
This was the high point of the discussion of top Ondo officials and oil majors in a crucial meeting held in the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, at the Presidential Villa on Sunday.
Akeredolu told State House Correspondents that the initiative emanated from the state’s economic and industrialization summit in June, 2017.
He said the gas programme was one of the five key decisions taken at the summit, adding that the state had large gas deposits that would transform its economy and boost federal revenue.
“We were at the meeting that has the Chief of Staff in attendance and what we have come to do is on the economic diversification initiative.
“As you are all aware, sometime in June, we had our summit in Akure, Ondo. And following the summit, we had about five points that we needed to now take up.
“We have to come in and to hold a meeting with all stakeholders, including NNPC, Chevron, Shell and others, and even some of our investors, for all of us to discuss on these five points.
”That’s why we are here because we need to be on a spot; it is a one-stop-shop so that we discuss these initiatives,” the governor added.
The governor noted that besides the progress made at the meeting, it was an eye-opener for the state as the country’s oil regulator enlightened the Ondo delegation more on the importance of the initiative.
“We have made progress in our discussion; what Ondo State is particular about, NNPC was able to even enlighten us the more.
“We were particular about being on the gas plan and it has been made clear to us that we have always been on the national gas plan and that all that is now needed is for us to decide what and what to be done.
“We have the OK LNG and we felt that something has to be done there,’’ he stated.
According to Akeredolu, NNPC has put a lot of effort to have OK LNG developed but some of the partners withdrew from it.
“Ondo State is now keenly interested, we can get some of the investors to come and have OK LNG take off again for the purpose which it was established and other purposes which can be accommodated.
He stated that his administration and the gas prospecting partners would put together a working committee to work on all the discussions and come out with an implementation plan in a few weeks.
The governor noted that gas reserve in Ondo State was large and would not be in short supply because of the gas pipeline that passed through the state.
“The estimate of gas reserve in Ondo State is large. You know gas reserve is not limited to Ondo State, even if we need gas it does not necessarily have to come from Ondo State alone.
“You have the pipeline that comes from Bonny, Escravos, everywhere; we have too but the pipeline we have now is from the east.
“It is coming that way and whether we like it or not, the ones at the coastal line are the ones that will get to Lekki and there is no way they will pass through the shores of Ondo.’’
The governor described Ondo as peaceful and gave the assurance that pipeline vandalism would not occur there as everything would be done to sensitize the people and partner with other stakeholders on security in the riverine areas.
“Ondo State is a peaceful area and we can give guarantee that the pipelines within our area will never be vandalised,’’ the governor assured.
He hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for ensuring the security of oil pipelines across the country