NCDMB Lauds Shell, Bayelsa, Over Digital Library built at NDU 

Ogunsakin Mustapha
6 Min Read

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe has commended Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) and the Bayelsa State Government for the completion and inauguration of a Learning Centre and Digital Library at Niger Delta University (NDU), Amassoma, Bayelsa State.

The state-of-the-art facility which boasts three floors – a 2,300-seater Library Building – and a fully equipped digital library, also has a Wi-Fi Lounge, offices, digital educational technology rooms, a 500KVA generator housed within a purpose-built external structure, 500KVA transformer, a dedicated water facility and overhead tank, a restaurant/recreation hub, etc.

Engr. Ogbe, represented by the Director of Corporate Services of NCDMB, Dr. Ama Ikuru, prefaced his address at the commission ceremony on Thursday with a word of appreciation to the State Government for making the environment conducive for business activities.

Continuing, he noted, “Those of us in the oil and gas industry know that without the enabling environment, there will be no projects and without projects, there will be no local content growth and no projects like this one.” The project, as he noted, is part of SNEPCo’s “commitment to the Nigerian Content Human Capital Development Initiative.” 

Regarding the sponsor of the project, the NCDMB boss stated, “I will thank Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCO) and by extension, Shell Companies in Nigeria for showing faith, commitment, and good execution in the delivery of this project.” The company’s major partner, Nigeria Upstream Investment Limited was similarly commended “for approving the execution of this project.”

Engr. Ogbe pointed out that “SNEPCO was not compelled by legislation, nor the force of regulators, nor by community agitation…. They saw the need to support education in Nigeria and worked with their partners to conceptualize and commence the execution of this project.”  

The role of NCDMB in facilitating the project execution was also highlighted. According to the Executive Secretary, “When funding for completion of the project became an issue, they sought permission from the NCDMB to complete the project.” According to him, the request was promptly granted, with assurance of “our total support.”  

On the importance of the facility to the University, Engr. Ogbe noted that “NDU is ready to soar above her peers in a digitalization and artificial intelligence-dominated academic world. With this facility,” he explained, “research projects will be completed on time, new findings will be published, students will graduate on time and lecturers will have the best materials for their publication and receive their elevation.”  

He declared, “We are immensely proud of this achievement,” adding, ”Shell Companies in delivering this project have proven beyond doubt that they are truly partners for Nigeria’s development.”

The Managing Director, SNEPCO, Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said the learning complex embodies the commitment of her company to improving access to education for all Nigerians, and that the achievement is “the culmination of a vision shared by Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), SNEPCo, our co-venture partners, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, and, of course, the Niger Delta University.” 

On the wider benefits of the project to the local community and others, she noted, “Sustainable development is at the core of our mission. The construction process incorporated knowledge transfer programmes, empowering 24 individuals from the Niger Delta University with hands-on experience in complex engineering through industrial training opportunities. This initiative equips them with a solid foundation for successful future careers.”

The Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, reminded the audience, which included the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, and the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Nimibofa Ayawei, among others, that “The history of Shell [in Nigeria] began in Bayelsa State.” 

He described the Learning Centre and Digital Library as “a signature project in the Niger Delta,” and thanked industry colleagues “for the fruitful collaboration.” He also assured that Shell Companies in Nigeria “will continue to maintain close partnership with Bayelsa State.” 

In his own remarks, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ewhrudjakpo, thanked “all who initiated and completed the facility,” while urging Shell and other oil and gas industry players to never be tired of partnering the Bayelsa State Government. While advising the university community to “put [the facility] to the best use,” he declared, “For… the students, the time to give excuses for your failure is over. For… the lecturers, the time to give excuses for your inability to research has also expired.”  

Construction of the Learning Centre and Digital Library was initiated by SNEPCo in 2007 to enhance educational infrastructure in the country. 

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