Sylva, NUPRC raise concerns over delay in oil project
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva yesterday, decried the slow pace of the completion of the headquarters of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), insisting “it is sacrosanct for President Muhammadu Buhari to commission the project before leaving office in 2023.”
It would be recalled that because of ongoing reforms in the oil and gas sector, the headquarters of the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources was relocated to Abuja to facilitate processes in the sector.
Speaking while inspecting the project in Abuja, Sylva lamented that the project was only 26 per cent completed, despite the fact that the end of the current administration was in sight.
He said the contractors told the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2020 that the project would be completed in 24 months, but the current state of the project remained slow.
“Counting from that time the project should have been completed and seeing the level of work done, it is quite disturbing. I can see the quality of work, but you must pay attention to speed.
“The intention is for President Buhari to commission the project that he initiated. By March, we are still here at 26 per cent, and we are projecting to be at roofing level by the end of this year. I can say clearly that this project is not meant for the President to commission.
“Overall, we are actually happy that we are putting this monument at the centre of Nigeria, knowing that oil has been the mainstay of the country’s economy. But, we hope the project will be commissioned by President Buhari,” Sylva said.
The minister said a safe working environment remained crucial, as the government was working hard to reform the industry.
Also, the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc., Dr. Lars Richter, said the design being in the form of barrel was challenging.
He said the company was getting solutions to the challenges, adding that the company was working assiduously to ensure the target was achieved.
“There are many challenges. The client has chosen a very good design. It’s very complicated, but Julius Berger is known to find solutions for all the challenges and also to deliver the project on time. That’s why we were chosen. And I can guarantee you we will put all efforts in place,” he said.
Chairman of NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, said the government’s efforts at approving the building showed the level of interest in driving productivity in the sector.
He confirmed the commission would do everything possible to meet its obligations and ensure that the project is speedily completed.