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Group flays presidency’s delay in approval of $13.5b Zabazaba deep water project

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The Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC) has flayed the alleged delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the $13.5 billion Zabazaba deep water project in Bomadi, Delta State.

It threatened to embark on a protest to register its grievances if the project was unnecessarily delayed.

The group, in a statement yesterday by its president, Nelly Emma, secretary, John Sailor and Public Relations Officer, Stanley Mukoro, said the project was capable of giving employment to hundreds of youths in the Niger Delta region.

It added that it could also assist in rehabilitating repentant Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast.

The statement, addressed to Buhari, however, pleaded with him to order the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to proceed with the project.

This, it added, would further give some credence to the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.

The statement reads: “Mr. President, the NDIMRC is a well-known oil-monitoring group based in the Niger Delta region. We have been agitating for a better deal for all Nigerians. The Zabazaba Project is important to the success of your administration.

“Don’t waste time in approving the project. We want to place it on record that Agip is developing the Zabazaba Field with proven reserves of 560 million barrels of oil, as a stand alone project in the Niger Delta.

“They range from 1,200 to 2,400 metres, the main packages in the Zabazaba Project include the construction of the floating production storage overloading unit, sub-seal installations and drilling rigs.”

The document further said that the project would also set a new record in local content development as the major contractors had submitted bids with concrete plans to fabricate and integrate over 50 per cent of the topsides of the FPSO in the country.

It added that Agip plans to drill its first oil in 2020 and is determined to start execution of the project in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We, therefore, urge Mr. President to approve the take off of the project, as it is too precious to Nigerians,” it added.

While lamenting the unemployment rate in the country, the group stated that the project was capable of generating over eight million jobs for Nigerians, adding that it would restore lost jobs and engage other unemployed youths.


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