Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Thursday flagged off the construction of the Oyo State Government (OYSG)-Shell Nigeria Gas Ltd (SNG) project to create a new gas distribution infrastructure network in the state.
The governor while performing the groundbreaking ceremony of the Gas Infrastructure Development and Distribution Project, held at the Kilometre 10, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ibadan, said that his administration realised early enough that in order to engineer a modern Oyo State, it needed to engage the private sector and development agencies.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that he has been running an inclusive government focused on building infrastructure that targets economic growth.
He added that projects embarked upon by his administration deliberately cut across all zones of the state, while having direct impact on all strata of the society.
According to the governor, when completed, the gas infrastructure project will deliver gas to industrial, manufacturing and commercial companies, adding that it will also serve new emerging industrial corridors and industrial parks/zones, Independent Power Projects, and provide stable power generation for industrial and residential use within the state.
He said: “Yes, we promised Omituntun(breath of fresh air) and we are delivering Omituntun.
“Back in 2019, when we came into office, four years seemed like such a long time to many people. But we knew how short four years would be because of how much work we had to do. Our infrastructure deficit was huge. At the same time, resources were dwindling.
“Yet, we kept in clear focus the task of ensuring that Oyo State lived up to its moniker, ‘Pacesetter State.’
“We knew that to engineer a modern Oyo State, we must engage the private sector and development agencies.
“And now, look how far we have come. We have run very inclusive governance. Whether in Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Oke-Ogun, Oyo or even Ibarapa, you can point to state government projects in your zone.
“In fact, I have made it a point that when I meet people who say they are from Oyo State, I ask them where in Oyo. Once they name it, we can match their zone with a project.”
The governor, who stated that he was glad that another milestone was being added to the numerous achievements already recorded by his administration, added: “We will soon officially flag off our campaign, and then we will talk about all we have done to change the economic landscape in Oyo State.
“Today, we are here to add another milestone to our achievements as we flag off the construction of the Oyo State Government (OYSG) and Shell Nigeria Gas Ltd (SNG) Gas Project.
This project is for constructing a Pressure Reduction & Metering Station (PRMS).
“Through this project, we will create a new gas distribution infrastructure network in Oyo State. This infrastructure will deliver gas to industrial, manufacturing and commercial companies. “It will also serve new emerging industrial corridors and industrial parks/zones, Independent Power Projects, and provide stable power generation for industrial and residential use within the state.
“People might ask, how much is Oyo State spending on this? Well, the project will be funded by SNG on a Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) basis. SNG will transfer the infrastructure to Oyo State after 15 years.
“One thing we have always done is to ensure that all our projects are interconnected. For example, when we said we would drive our economy through agriculture, some people thought we would start buying fertiliser and other inputs and distributing them to phantom farmers.
“But that was the old way of doing things. We chose instead to take the infrastructure approach. Instead of handing money to people, we built the roads they needed to link our farming communities to markets.
“We also attracted big businesses willing to work with our farmers as off-takers. While at the same time subscribing to donor-assisted agricultural programmes. And so, we linked agriculture to road construction and rural development.”
He explained that the gas infrastructure project is linked to the state’s ‘Light up Oyo’ project, saying that he is confident that he would commission the project, because the people of Oyo State will re-elect him for another four years of sustainable development.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Temilolu Ashamu, said the state will use gas to drive large scale development and get Oyo State ahead of the curve.
The Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Gas, Ed Ubong, told the gathering that the project will pump the first gas in the first quarter of 2024, adding that the company has already developed a gas master plan that will take gas to all corridors of Oyo State.
“I was just discussing this with the governor that there is a chance that, by next year, that first gas will start flowing here in Oyo. It will be in phases. We would carry out what we call an early phase where gas will be delivered virtually,” he said.