After two years of putting on hold construction work of the multi-billion naira Assa North/Ohaji South Gas Development Project in Ohaji/Egbema Council of Imo State, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has mobilised workers and returned to site.
The General Manager (Security) of SPDC, Bob Buss, leading other officials of the company, disclosed this yesterday during his official visit to the Commissioner for Homeland Security and Vigilante Affairs, Dr. Okechukwu Ugorji, in Owerri.
The SPDC had, in 2019, performed the ground-breaking of the project with a potential capacity of 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, one of the largest domestic gas projects in Nigeria.
The initial completion projection was put at 2023, but was put on hold in 2021, following security breaches, which led to the killing of persons in the area by suspected cult members, among other unwholesome disturbances by the locals.
As a result of putting on hold the construction work, over 980 employment opportunities and 2,612 sub- contracting chances, valued at N1.6 billion were affected, according to earlier disclosure made in Owerri by the Head, Corporate Relations and Director of SPDC, Igo Weli, some weeks ago, while briefing journalists from Imo and Abia states.
Buss told the Commissioner that the company needed to be reassured by the state government with security plan for the construction and other workers to work optimally.
The Shell official said the company is ready to partner with state government to actualise the goal, stressing that they were in the state to discuss plans on how to protect the company’s assets and mitigate security challenges during their operations in the state.
Responding, Ugorji said the state government is willing to welcome them and work in synergy to protect both human and material resources.
He assured: “The corridor is of great economic, security, educational and political importance to Governor Hope Uzodimma.
“The state government would do all it could to give Shell and its workers the confidence to be fully operational.”