Ex-agitators from the Niger Delta region have written to President Muhammadu Buhari on the Zabazaba Deepwater project urging him to sign the Final Investment Decision(FID) for the project before the 2019 general elections.

The Zabazaba Deepwater project being developed by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company has a proven reserve of 560 million barrels of oil as a stand-alone development in the eastern portion of the Niger Delta in water depths ranging from 1,200 to 2,400 metres.

In a letter addressed to the president, General Premobowei Julius and Godswill Enato, on behalf of concerned agitators from the Niger Delta region, said the region and Nigeria, in general, would benefit from the signing of the FID for the project. 

While commending the president for the projects and programmes executed by his administration in the Niger Delta region, they said the Zabazaba project would be a catalyst for development with the active participation of local companies in line with the local content policy of the present administration.

The letter read in part: “Mr President, the immediate benefit of the signing of the FID includes the construction of the Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) units and subsea installations and drilling rigs. This will set an enviable record in local content with local companies set to fabricate 50% of the FSPO in the country, which will be a major boost to the country’s economy and the local content initiative being promoted and prioritised by the present government.

"The Zabazaba Deepwater project is capable of generating millions of jobs, and by 2020, when Agip intends to produce the first oil, it would generate $8billion for Nigeria. Overall, the effect of the Zabazaba Deepwater project on the Nigerian economy would be unprecedented and the multiplier effect on the local economies of the catchment areas in the Niger Delta will be huge.

"Mr President, with the amazing package the Zabazaba Deepwater project has for the people of the Niger Delta region and the Nigerian economy, signing the FID would put your administration and party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in pole position as the campaigns for the 2019 enters top gear, with the Zabazaba Deepwater project counted as one of the major projects you have in the Niger Delta region.

"It would also demonstrate that your administration and your party take job creation as top priority."

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