Monday, August 31, 2015 4:58 pm
Youth groups in Rivers State have continued their protest against the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company, NLNG over the location of a $1.5billion Dry dock in Badagry, Lagos State.
The company had denied its involvement with the the dock, but the Youths grouped under the Joint Niger Delta Youth Movement said they have unassailable evidence that the company is the sponsor of the project.
Led by Niger Delta activist, Ann Kio Briggs, the youth submitted a nine page letter, copies of which were sent to government and strategic agencies in the country.
Part of the letter read: “It is necessary here to note that before the feasibility study and road show of December 9th 2014, organized by you there were no foreign or local investors (company or consortium) for the Dry dock, but to our chagrin NLNG had already named the project, Badagry Ship Repair and Marine Engineering, BSME”.
The letter quoted a Reuters report on Friday June 19th 2015, which was reproduced on NLNG website with the caption: ‘NLNG EYES $1.5 BILLION DEBUT SHIPYARD IN NIGERIA’.
“The first paragraph aptly captured that ‘Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) is sponsoring the construction of the first major ship yard in Africa’s biggest economy at the cost of $1.5 billion, in its attempt to turn the country into a hub for maritime operations on the continent”.
“Reuters went further to quote NLNG spokesman, Tony Okonedo corroborating statements that indicate that they are actually sponsoring the dry dock project.”
The Niger Delta youths also faulted the giant NLNG for criteria used in siting the dry dock in Badagry.
An NLNG spokesman had claimed that technical reasons such as Natural water depth; Proximity to an international airport and Proximity to an active offshore and onshore West Africa oil and gas hub were practicable parameters used to decide on siting the Dry dock in Badagry.
Countering the claims the Joint Niger Delta Youth Movement stated in its letter that it was unthinkable that Badagry with natural water depth of 11-12 meters was chosen ahead of Bonny island with natural water depth of 14.30 meters and the Onne/Ikpokiri which has about 15.2 meters of natural water depth.
On proximity to airport, it states that the distance between Lagos International airport and Badagry is about 68 kilometers while from Port Harcourt international airport to Onne port is about 40 kilometers, even as Bonny Island has the advantage of a mini air strip.
On the proximity of the proposed dock to an active offshore and onshore West Africa oil and gas hub, it states “Niger delta is the most active offshore and onshore oil and gas hub in Nigeria and indeed in the whole of West Africa”.
Others activists who joined the civil protest to NLNG complex in Port Harcourt include; Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, Rivers state chapter, Amb. Sukubo Sara-Igbe Sukubo, National Secretary General of Ijaw Youth Council and Leader of Rivers Ijaw Youths, Engr Emmanuel Bristol Alagbariya, Leader Bonny Youth Federation, Barr. Simeon Wilcox.