The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) marked its 30 years of operations in the palace of the King of Bonny by flagging off what it called ‘Next 30 Years’ highlighted by an N75 billion development fund to be released at the rate of N3 billion per year.
The managing director (MD), Tony Attah (the 10th since inception), who announced the vision, also disclosed plans to establish a radio station called Bonny City Radio and a city Wi-Fi service to allow the king to communicate with his people easily and at the same time.
The MD who led a long convoy of all past MDs and deputy MDs plus board members and top industry players in the oil and gas industry to pay homage to the king (Amanyanabo) of Bonny at the Palace Court also disclosed that a health insurance scheme is about to take off in Bonny with 600 persons already registered.
He said the N120Bn Bonny-Bodo Road (with NNG paying N60Bn and FG N60Bn) to link the island to Port Harcourt remains the biggest single corporate social responsibility (CSR) project in Nigeria ever. He said the road project (with 10km already executed and compensation issues cleared) is part of the ‘Bonny-Dubai Initiative’ aimed at making Bonny be like Dubai in terms of infrastructure, wealth creation, tourism, and modern traction.
The MD mentioned development projects and programmes already executed for the Bonny people in the past 20 years thus; the total exhaustion of the 1998 MoU with tangible projects as stable electricity, portable water, Bonny Vocational Centre and Employment Bureau that ensure employment of thousands of the host community people, three-tier scholarship scheme, youth empowerment scheme, etc.
He announced the commencement of an anti-malaria scheme in Bonny to eliminate malaria after a study revealed that malaria was the highest ailment afflicting people on the island.
This is coming with a health insurance scheme as a component.
The highlight of benefits to the Bonny people coming ahead is the groundbreaking event of the Bonny Consulate Building that would serve as a resource center and city library. The building is to replace the Consulate Building that was demolished by the British administrator who was recalled from Bonny in around 1897 out of anger that the king of Bonny then did not accept to pay for the building.
The MD used the opportunity to disclose that Train-7 would not be the end of ambition for the NLNG, saying they may grow up to Train-10. He regretted that delay in starting Train-7 set Nigeria back from number four global gas power to number 7, saying if nothing is done, Nigeria may slip to number 10.
He said Train-7 guarantees 10,000 jobs with a high percentage coming from Nigerians and the Bonny people.
Responding, the Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny, Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple 111, who is Perekule X1, assured that the issues holding the signing of the MoU for N3Bn per year to start coming would be resolved, saying there were some clauses the kingdom needed to be resolved.
He admitted that the NLNG has been a blessing and that the success of the project would huge advancement ad success for Bonny kingdom. He assured that nothing would be done by the natives to obstruct the Train-7 or diminish the NLNG as a company, despite some issues in a relationship.
He mentioned the revival and boosting of the Bonny Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (BOCCIMA) as another strong step towards actualizing the Bonny-Dubai Initiative. He said the BOCCIMA was working silently and that soon, the kingdom would see a big result and a huge step forward.
He demanded a Bonny Ring Road project, saying if such was not in place when the Bonny-Bodo Road becomes a reality, that there would be chaos because the existing roads cannot carry huge influx of traffic.
The king however pointed at signs of poverty in Bonny such as old roofs, dwindling entrepreneurs, old poor roads, not to mention the palace that has remained the same, and said the people had expected the businesses in Bonny to be transformed 20 years after the NLNG.