JOINT COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY NEMBE IBE ROAD PROJECTS GROUP AND OTUEGILA – NEMBE ROAD PROJECT FORUM
BY: SAINT MIENPAMO
At a meeting of representatives of the Nembe Ibe Road Projects Group
and the Otuegila – Nembe Road Project Forum, it was resolved that this
joint communiqué be issued for the attention of the oil producing
companies (SPDC, NAOC, CHEVRON/TEXACO, etc.) operating in our
communities, the Bayelsa State Government, the Niger Delta Development
Commission (NDDC) and the Federal Government of Nigeria, in particular,
and the Nigerian public in general, to appeal specifically for the
immediate commencement and speedy completion of construction work on the
following long-proposed and long overdue roads:
1. The Yenegwe–Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road 2. The Otuegila-Amoroto-Kugbo-Akani-Oluasiri-Idema-Okoroba-Nembe Road 3. The Ogbia Junction-Akipelai-Etiema-Nembe Road
The Nembe Ibe Road Projects Group is a group of Chiefs, Elders,
Professionals and Leaders of Thought in the Nembe speaking area of
Bayelsa State, comprising Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas,
formed primarily to pursue the realization of the above-mentioned road
links to the Nembe Ibe area of Nigeria, as well as a supporting internal
network of roads between and within our communities, and also to
foster peace and unity amongst the Nembe -Ibe people in the pursuit of
Similarly, the Otuegila-Nembe Road Project Forum
is a group of Chiefs, Elders, Youth Leaders, Professionals and Women
Representatives from various major oil producing communities in
Abua/Odual Local Government Area of Rivers State, as well as Ogbia and
Nembe Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State, which communities are
situate along the route of the proposed
Otuegila-Amoroto-Kugbo-Akani-Oluasiri-Idema-Okoroba-Nembe Road (also
known as the Otuegila-Nembe Road for Short). This group, as the name
implies, was formed principally for the peaceful but resolute pursuit of
the construction of the Otuegila-Nembe Road.
in the Nembe Ibe area (Nembe and Brass LGAs of Bayelsa State) together
with the other communities in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State and Abua/Odual
LGA of Rivers State that are to be served by the above-listed proposed
roads collectively account for over 15% of Nigeria’s oil production and
about 20% of the country’s gas production. The lengthy list of oil/gas
exploration and production (E&P) facilitates hosted by these
communities is shown in the Appendix to this communiqué.
Despite their huge collective contribution to Nigeria’s public revenues,
especially for the past 50 (FIFTY) years, these communities remain
unconnected by road to themselves or to the rest of Nigeria. In
particular, the Nembe-Ibe area is the only area of its geographical size
and pre-eminent oil/gas production status in Nigeria that is not
connected to the rest of (“Mainland”) Nigeria by road. We make bold to
say that all true Nembe Ibe people, chiefs, elders, professionals,
public servants, women and youths alike consider this an unacceptable.
Regrettably, our country, Nigeria, and the various governments and
relevant oil producing companies seem unconcerned about this. The Nembe
Ibe people feel frustrated at this total neglect.
and the oil companies have at different times since the 1960’s (Over 40
years now) variously promised to construct the three roads listed
above, each designed to connect different sets of communities and
oil/gas locations, but they have been consistent only in not fulfilling
The Federal Government of Nigeria has had
the Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road on its drawing board since 1972 but
has failed to give us this road ever since.
Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) made various public
commitments to build the Otuegila-Nembe Road. It even called for tenders
for the construction of the road, vide its advert in the Guardian
newspaper of Monday August 2001, in which it indicated the commencement
date as January 2002 and completion date as December 2005. SPDC has
again not met that publicized commitment by failing to commence work up
The Bayelsa State Government promised some years
ago to construct the then 19 km Ogbia- Nembe-Road. but has failed to
deliver on that promise, citing lack of funds as the reason, In spite of
the several billions of Naira accruing to the state every month since
the year 2000 on account of the statutory allocation of 13% of oil
revenues to the oil producing States.
At various times, the
Federal Government proposed Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe- Brass Road has been
listed in the Federal Budget and allocated meager sums, but the road has
still not been constructed. This road has again been listed in the 2005
Federal Budget, but the allocation made for it is unsatisfactory and
does not inspire any confidence in us that work on the road will start
in earnest and be completed anytime soon.
PAINED BY THIS CONTINUOUSLY NEGLECT OF OUR COMMUNITIES AND MINDFUL OF
THE GROWING, IF NOT SIMMERING, FRUSTRATION AND TENSION AMONGST OUR
PEOPLE (AND ESPECIALLY AMONGST OUR MOSTLY UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS) INSPITE OF
THE HUGE SUMS BEING ALLOCATED FOR PROJECTS ELSEWHERE IN THE COUNTRY,
(SOME OF WHICH ARE” LAGOS RING ROAD N500m FOR DESIGN AND N117b PROPOSED
FOR CONSTRUCTION; NATIONAL ASSEMBLY COMPLEX PHASE II PROJECT N25b,
NATIONAL CULTURAL CENTRE, ABUJA N74b) WE HAVE RESOLVED TO MAKE THE
FOLLOWING DEMANDS AND OBSERVATIONS: That our said communities,
comprising the entire Nembe and Brass LGAs as well as numerous
communities in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State and Abua/Odual LGA of Rivers
State, are entitled to have the above-listed three roads constructed as
an overdue minimum dividend of our membership of this country and
collective contribution to the funding of Nigeria.
relevant government agencies and oil companies should therefore take
steps to commence work on these roads at the earliest possible time, and
to ensure their completion before the end of the tenure of the present
administration in 2007. Specifically, the Federal Government
should expeditiously execute the Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road with the
aim of completing it before the end of the present administration of
President Olusegun Obasanjo in May 2007, as a token of benefit to the
Nembe Ibe people from the Obasanjo administration.
Federal Government should also directly or if necessary, in
collaboration with SPDC and other development stakeholders ensure the
speedy execution of the Otuegila-Nembe Road for which it invited
proposals for engineering design in the THISDAY newspaper edition of
Thursday, June 3, 2004.
That SPDC should take immediate steps
to fulfill its variously and publicly declared commitment to build the
Otuegila-Nembe Road, for which it continues to bear primary
responsibility, and for which we are aware that the Bayelsa State
Government ha by Govt. Notice No.13 of 20/10/2003 (Revocation of Rights
of Occupancy Notice) acquired the necessary land for the segments of
the proposed route that lie in Bayelsa State.
Bayelsa State Government should demonstrate beyond doubt its financial
commitment to the development of the Nembe Ibe area by taking urgent
steps to directly or in partnership with the Federal Government, SPDC,
NAOC, Chevron/Texaco and NDDC, actualize either the Ogbia-Nembe Road or
the Otuegila-Nembe Road before the end of the Governor DSP
Alamieyeseigha (Phd, JP) Administration in 2007. We are constrained to
say that in the absence of such a clear and direct financial
commitment, the Nembe Ibe people would have lost any hope of a sense of
belonging from the administration.
That we note with
cautious optimism the current efforts between the Niger Delta
Development Commission (NDDC) and SPDC to jointly construct the now 22
km Ogbia Junction-Nembe Road, which for now seems to be the only serious
initiative to link some parts of Nembe Ibe area by road. We however
demand expedited action to ensure actual commencement and substantial
progress in construction during 2005.
We invite attention to
the numerous benefits to be derived from the construction of these three
roads, including the following:
Providing road access to the largest oil fields in the country and the upcoming Brass Liquefied Natural Gas Plant.
Providing road access to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company facilities at Brass
Providing road access to the LNG Supply Plant (Soku/Oluasiri area)
which provides over 50% of the gas feed stock for the NLNG Plant at
Providing road access to most of the other oil/gas
locations listed in the accompanying table, including the Okoroba field
which boasts one of the largest proven reserves of oil/gas in Nigeria
and indeed Africa.
Reduction of transportation difficulties
of the riverine communities in Ogbia, Nembe, Brass and Abua/Odual Local
Creating an enabling environment for the establishment of industries which will provide employment for our restive youths.
Enhancement of the tourist potential of the Niger Delta region.
Providing easier access to the seaports of Brass and Akassa
Opening up the rich agricultural and fishery areas to be traversed by the roads.
Minimizing the frequent boat disasters in the area, with attendant loss of lives and property.
Enhancing the security of the oil and gas installations in the area.
That henceforth our communities should be given their fair share of
projects, employment/appointments and other forms of development,
commensurate to our oil production quota by the Federal and State
governments, the oil companies, NDDC and other development agencies.
FINALLY, WE WISH TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT WE HAVE BEEN NEGLECTED AT ALL
LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT FOR TOO LONG. WE DEMAND OUR FAIR DUE, IN VIEW OF
THE VAST RESOURCES AND WEALTH EXTRACTED FROM OUR COMMUNITIES OVER THE
Prof. Sir (Chief) E.J. Alagoa Kala-Joe Chairman, NIRPG
Engr. Sir (Prof) Y.O. Beredugo Vice-President, NIRPG
NEMBE IBE ROAD PROJECTS GROUP CONTACT COMMITTEE
11. Orogbum Crescent, GRA Phase II, Port Harcourt, Federal Secretariat P.O.BOX
Your Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria Aso Rock Villa, Abuja
THE YENEGWE – KOLO – NEMBE – BRASS ROAD
We are a group of opinion leaders of Nembe Ibe in Bayelsa State who are
concerned about the much talked about Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road
which appears to have been in the “planning stages” since 1964. To put
Your Excellency in the picture, we have taken the liberty of giving a
brief History of this Road as Attachment “A”.
Excellency can see, the Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road has a tortuous
history. Roads which were conceived and designed long after this road
have been constructed or are under construction. Prime examples are the
Emohua – Degema – Abonnema Road, (in terrain that is very similar to the
Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road), the Ibadan – Ife Road dualisation, the
Benin Ring Road, the Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Road dualisation, to
mention just a few.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE YENEGWE–KOLO–NEMBE–BRASS ROAD
The importance of this road includes but is not limited to the following:
This road will open up a rich Agricultural Area
It will provide road access to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Terminal
at Brass as well as NAOC’s recently acquired Okpoama Oil Fields.
Shell’s Nembe Creek and Odioama Creek Oil fields will also become more
The tourist potential of Bayelsa State will be considerably enhanced
The transportation difficulties of the riverine communities of Ogbia, Nembe Ibe, Akassa and even Koluama will be reduced.
It will create an enabling environment for the establishment of
industries which will provide employment for our restive youths. Thus
it will help to reduce the overwhelming pressure on the youths to drift
to urban centres
IT will improve the security of the oil and gas installations in this area.
This road traverses a very rich oil and gas producing region which has been neglected over the years.
It will minimize the frequent boat disasters with the attendant loss of lives and property.
ACTION DURING THE FIRST TERM OF THE OBASANJOR/ATIKU ABUBAKAR ADMINISTRATION
We are happy to note that Your Excellency is aware of the importance of
this road and that during your first tenure, Chief Melford Okilo, the
Senator representing our Senatorial District (Bayelsa East Senatorial
District) at the time graciously made available to us a copy of your
letter ref. No. PRES/131 dated April 23, 2003 in which you assured him
that “the Honourable Minister of Works has confirmed that a design
contract is in the process of being awarded for the
(Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass) Road, and that this road is also scheduled
for construction within Year 2001 – 2003 Rolling Plan for highway
development in the country”. A copy of this letter is attached. We know
that Your Excellency is a man of his words and that you will fulfill
this promise which you made to our elected representative. Our reason
for bringing this to Your Excellency’s attention at this time is because
there is a new Minister of Works who may be unaware of Your
Excellency’s commitment to the people of Bayelsa East Senatorial
District, especially as no action appears to have been taken on the
design and construction of this road. We find this very worrisome since
2003 is almost ending.
OUR PRAYER Your Excellency, our
prayer is that the Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road be built by the Federal
Government as a matter of extreme urgency.
It can be seen that
this road will contribute immensely to the development of Ogbia, Nembe
Ibe, Akassa and other riverine communities. In addition this road will
ease the transportation problems associated with oil gas exploration in
the Central Niger Delta.
Over the years there does not appear
to be the political will to redress this injustice that has been meted
to people of Nembe Ibe. Indeed Oloibiri, which will be served by this
road, was the first Nigerian Oil filed which was discovered in 1956 and
started producing in 1958. Nembe Ibe alone accounts for approximately
10% and 16% of the total oil and gas respectively produced in Nigeria.
These figures do not include the oil and gas production of the other
communities such as Ogbia, Akassa and Koluama which will benefit from
the Yenegwe – Kolo – Nembe – Brass Road.
As a substantial oil
and gas producing area, (see production figures in Attachment “B”),
Nembe Ibe deserves a better deal. There is little or no Federal presence
in Bayelsa State and we find it difficult to accept that the wealth
derivable from our land cannot be utilized to provide this vital
infrastructure for Nembe Ibe. We have been marginalized for far too
long. We can confirm that the people of Nembe Ibe are frustrated. We
therefore urge Your Excellency to take immediate action on this project
to give us a sense of belonging. We know that Your Excellency has the
political will to do what is right and we are therefore awaiting your
further action on this road. We trust that you will not fail us. We remain, Yours Faithfully,
Chief Prof. E.J. Alagoa Kala-Joe
Engr. Prof. Y.O. Beredugo (Third person to replace Secretary)
ATTACHMENT “A” OUTLINE HISTORY OF YENEGWE-KOLO-NEMBE-BRASS ROAD
1963 Yenegwe-Nembe Road is proposed for construction along with the
Mbiama-Yenagoa Road and the Ahoada-Degema hulk by the Niger Delta
Development Board, as part of plans to open up the area.
August 1972 Rivers State Government awards Contract No. R2-72/73 to
Delta Consult Ltd “to survey, design and build a road connectingthe
Nembe and Oloibiri regions to the existing Mbiama-Yenagoa Road”
July 1973 Delta Consult submits its report.
1974 Contract for the construction of the road is awarded to MCC (Monier Construction Company Ltd).
1974/1975 Federal Government takes over the road as a Federal project
and the road plan is extended to Brass, an Oil Terminal. The project
is known thereafter as the Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road.
July 1975 Change of government takes place and work does not proceed thereafter.
1980 Federal Government re-awards the contract to OCC Ltd and some
filling and building of culverts is done between the Yenegwe Kolo
1983 Another change of government. Once again the project was abandoned.
1990 Contracts for the road are re-awarded in segments. C&C Ltd is
commissioned to execute the Yenegwe-Kolo segment while Dumez is
contracted to construct Kolo-Nembe-Brass segment
1992 President Ibrahim Babangida formally flags off the project
1992-2003 No work done
Current Status The Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road Remains Abandoned
In 2005: The SPCD and NDDC signed an MOU to complete the road
RECENT EFFORTS PIONEERED BY THE NEMBE -IBE ROAD PROJECT
His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR President and Commander-In-Chief Federal Republic of Nigeria Presidential Villa Aso Rock Abuja
YENEGWE-KOLO-NEMBE-BRASS ROAD AND
OTUEGILA-EMAGO-AKANI-OLUASIRI-OKOROBA-NEMBE-ROAD: WHEN WILL THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT DO SOMETHING FOR THE NEMBE-IBE PEOPLE?
recall that by letter dated the Nembe-Ibe Road Projects Group appealed
to you to approve the award of the contracts for the construction of
the above-mentioned roads to link up our communities, for the first
time, to the rest of Nigeria and open up the Nembe-Ibe territory for
greater economic activity. We did not as much as receive even a reply to
our letter of appeal.
Thereafter, we sent two delegations
to meet with the honourable minister of works (Chief………Ogunlewe, at
the time), On ……….. And ………. Respectively, to impress upon him the
Urgent need to execute these roads, on both occasions, we did not get
any satisfactory results. Infact, on our second visit, we were treated
like Beggars seeking for an undeserved favour.
foregoing, your Excellency, explains why we are left with no choice than
to write this open letter to you through the National Media, in the
Hope that it will not escape your attention this time and shall elicit
your kind and prompt action.
In the mean time, we have noted
with utmost regret, collective disappointment and rising frustration
that once again the annual budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria
has been passed, in the whopping sum of N1.9 trillion this year and, as
has always been the case, No provision was made for the Executive of
the Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road and/or the
Road that have been in the proverbial pipeline for the past 40 Years
and 10 Years respectively. The Nembe-Ibe people are now asking
themselves “What has our country ever done for us, and what really is
our stake in the House of Nigeria?”
As Elders, accomplished
professionals, and opinion leaders of Nembe-Ibe committed to the
Fostering of Peace, Unity, Development and the General well being of the
Nembe-Ibe people, comprised in the Nembe and Brass Local Government
Areas of Bayelsa State, and d etermined to ensure that the Nembe-Ibe
people take their deserving pride of place in the Nigeria and the
Global Community of the 21st Century, we are constrained for the
umpteenth time to call attention to the protracted neglect and
deprivation to which our people have been subjected by Governments at
all levels in the 45 Years since Nigeria attained Independence and
especially in the 7 Years since the Advent of your current Civilian
We humbly wish to remind your Excellency that
Nembe-Ibe as an ethnic and Geographic Bloc, consisting of Nembe and
Brass LGAs as mentioned above, is about the single largest contributor
to the public revenues of Nigeria and IPSO FACTO, of Bayelsa State,
accounting for approximately 10% of the country’s Oil production and 15%
of Gas production, to say nothing of the offshore Oil and Gas
production/Reserves in the Vast continental shelf abutting the
For ease of Reference, the Oil and Gas
Exploration and Production Installations in Nembe-Ibe Territory
Include, but are not Limited to the following:…………
Nembe-Ibe remains the only significant, if not literally the only,
segment of Nigeria that is up till this moment not linked to the rest
of Nigeria by Road. Besides our Rich Network of Natural Waterways, the
only Physical link between the Nembe-Ibe Islands and “Continental”
Nigeria is the complex Network of Oil and Gas Pipelines that Siphon the
mineral resources sucked out of our Land to other parts of Nigeria (and
to foreign countries through the Brass Export Terminal).
Current and previous generations of Nembe-Ibe Leaders have made
countless, tiring, but unsuccessful, efforts at attracting Development
projects (such as the two roads cited above) through Dialogue and other
peaceful means, even our youths have been exemplary in this peaceful
approach but they, like us too, are getting sick and tired of being paid
deaf ears! the Onus is on Government to demonstrate to us the
practical dividends of Dialogue and peaceful agitation, rather than to
preach pretentiously about non-violence whenever Niger Delta Youths are
pushed by Official Callousness to adopt the admittedly undesirable
approach of violent agitation.
Obviously therefore, it seems
that Government and the Oil Companies alike consider the Terrain of
Nembe-Ibe as being too difficult for the building of Roads and other
development infrastructure, but Easy enough for the construction of
sub-sea pipelines and the Extraction of Billions of Petro-Dollars to
feed the corporate/Government appetite for Maximum Profits and easy
public revenue for spending or Developing Elsewhere.
Nembe-Ibe people can no longer accept this Shabby treatment, as there
can be no conceivable justification for it, especially in the face of
the unprecedented and continuous oil revenue windfall enjoyed by your
Excellency’s administration and tagged “Excess Crude proceeds”.
Mr. President, The Oil Prolific Nembe-Ibe Communities cannot Fathom
any sensible notion of “Excess Oil Revenue savings” while they
continue to wallow in “Excess underdevelopment and abject poverty”.
for 40 years and 10 years respectively, the Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass
Road and the Otuegila-Emago-Oluasiri-Okoroba-Nembe Road have remained
mere proposals, while other roads proposed along with them or
subsequently have not only been long completed but, in many cases, have
been dualized or Extended. Examples, just to Name a few, are the Lagos-
Ibadan-Shagamu Road, the Lagos Badagry Road, the Third Mainland Bridge,
(and the Fourth Mainland Bridge now in the Offing): Not to mention
countless Roads in other parts of Nigeria.
OUR EARNEST PRAYER
We have followed the reports from the Niger Delta stakeholders
summit just hosted by your Excellency on the 5th of April 2006, Sequel
to the recent release of the last set of expatriate Hostages that were
held by Militant Youth Groups in the Niger Delta Region. We note with
optimism and great expectation your Excellency’s assurances of matching
words with action in terms of Accelerated Infrastructural Development
of the Region.
Our immediate prayer from your Excellency,
Therefore, is for an urgent supplementary budget provision of $400
million out of the over $16 billion standing in the so-called excess
crude proceeds account (much of which is from our Oil and Gas fields),
for the execution of the Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road (with an
Extension to Akassa) and the Otuegila- Amuroto-Amurekeni-
that there is sincerity of purpose on the part of Government, your
Excellency can cause the contracts for the Execution of these Roads to
be awarded before 29th May 2006, the 7th Year Anniversary of your
Administration. The Federal Ministry of Works Already has the designs
of both Roads, and your gracious early approval for the award of the
contracts shall allow for full advantage to be taken of the dry season
that will set in latter in the year. This will be to your Excellency’s
Mr. President, please let the historic and Oil-Rich Communities of Nembe-Ibe remember you for good!
God bless our communities, God bless you, Mr. President, and God bless Nigeria!
_________________________ _________________________ Prof. Sir (Chief) E.J. Alagoa Kala-Joe Chairman, NIRPG
_________________________ _________________________ Engr. Sir (Prof) Y.O. Beredugo Vice-President, NIRPG
BAYELSA PEOPLE ARE HAPPY THAT GOVERNOR HENRY SERIAKE DICKSON HAS TAKEN
THE ROAD AS ONE OF HIS STAR PROJECTS FROM THE BEGINNING.