Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has received encomiums from the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo for hosting the South East Gas Utilization Forum with the theme: Natural Gas Utilization and Optimization in Nigeria – Focus on the Eastern Hub.
Nwodo said he hardly gets invitation to attend such a private business forum from the Federal Government and expressed happiness that Governor Uzodimma and Minister of States, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva called him on phone to attend the Gas Forum in Owerri, and that he was happy he attended.
The President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said he is impressed about the passion Governor Uzodimma has for his office to develop Imo State and the South East in particular and Nigeria in general.
He also said the presence of the Minister who represented the President at the forum points to its importance to the federal government and enjoined Governor Uzodimma to leverage on the opportunity provided by the summit.
Also thanking the Governor for hosting the event, the former Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Chief Ernest Nwapa, described Governor Uzodimma as wonderful in his reach, noting that he is not surprised that he could attract such a unique event to Imo State within a short period in office.
He said the Gas Utilization Forum is probably the first time a Petroleum Minister had come to Imo State because of an event of this nature and urged the Governor to build on the outcome.
Chief Nwapa commended the Governor for attracting the summit to Imo State within a short period in office, noting that the presence of intellectuals, industrialists, and top businessmen to the event is an indication that Governor Uzodimma is charting a new course for Imo State which also shows that success awaits Imo, South East and Nigeria.
Earlier at the Forum, Governor Uzodimma who was the chief host had wooed potential investors in the Gas Sector to leverage the abundance of natural gas reserves of the finest quality in Imo State as well as the added advantage of ease of doing business that is second to none to invest in the State.
The Governor said he is optimistic the Forum would avail the South Eastern States the opportunity to facilitate and drive industrial revolution through gas developments, noting that the event was timely, “coming at a period when there was urgent need for sustainable alternative to dwindling oil reserves and declining oil prices at the international market.”
Governor Uzodimma noted that his administration is supportive of any venture that will add value to all sectors of the economy, particularly one that will create huge job opportunities for the youths, emphasizing that Imo State has a quarter of total gas deposits in Nigeria that makes her the highest with gas reserves. He pointed out that “developing the sector would ultimately provide opportunities for multiple industrial revolution in Imo, South East Region and Nigeria at large.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for providing an opportunity for the stakeholders in the gas sector to come together in Owerri to brain storm on how to tap into the huge potentials available in gas for the overall development of the country in general and South East in particular.
Sylva urged the stakeholders and investors to take advantage of the forum to invest in the zone.
The Forum which held at Rockview Hotel Owerri, Imo State attracted top stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.
All the other Governors of the South East – Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi – were ably represented, either by their Deputies, Secretary to the State Government or Special Advisers.
While the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NPPC), Melee Kyari was also represented, the former President of the Senate, Chief Ken Nnamani was in attendance.