The prospect of celebrating the first oil and gas festival to
commemorate the first oil find in Nigeria at Oloibiri, Bayelsa State
is generating excitement among stakeholders in Bayelsa State.
At a meeting on Tuesday to harness issues ahead of the festival
scheduled to take place from Dec. 28 to Jan. 14, 2018, the
stakeholders said the festival would be a significant event to
reawaken the people to the abandoned potential in the land.
Oil giant, Shell had struck oil in commercial quantities at Oloibiri
oil and gas field in Nigeria in 1956 and later commenced production
and export in 1958 at Oloibiri oil well which is currently in Ogbia
Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
The development had launched Nigeria into the league of oil exporting
nations and paved its way for membership of Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Speaking at the stakeholders meeting, Mr. Noble Akenga, Chairman of
the occasion, said that the festival would not only boost tourism but
reawaken potentials left in Oloibiri land for the betterment of the
He said, “Yes, it is going to be a significant event in the history of
Oloibiri, the genesis of oil in the West Africa, the Bayelsa, the
Niger-Delta and Nigeria at large.
“The idea is to reawaken the people and Nigerians to know what they
have in the land and to set a road map for tourism development in the
area instead of abandoning place”.
President, Oloibiri Oil and Gas Entrepreneurship Development
Initiative, Mrs. Faith Wilkinson, in her contribution said the
festival was necessary to bring the first nation’s historic oil
community back to live.
Wilkinson, also Coordinator, Planning Committee of the event expressed
optimism that the program would go a long way in promoting the rich
cultural heritage of the people.
She further said, “Oloibiri is an epicenter of modern Nigeria that has
touched many lives; this community deserved to be celebrated and
revived through the oil and gas festival.
“The importance of the festival is to display the cultural value of
the people; we want to attract international and national interest
through this unique festival which will serve as a cultural tourism
flagship event in West Africa,” she maintained.
Chairman, Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) in the state, Chief
Nengi James in his remarks stressed the need to make the program a
formidable event and called for togetherness among groups.
According to James, “There is the need to keep Oloibiri land alive
because this is the land that has built Nigeria, let us make the land
a tourist destination for the nation and Africa.
“I believe you cannot talk about the history of oil and gas in this
country without mentioning Oloiiriri community in Ogbia”.
Among other stakeholders at the meeting were the Environmental Right
Action (ERA), Bayelsa Chamber of Commerce, chiefs and elders of
From Chris Eze, Yenagoa