It spoke yesterday in Yenagoa in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kesiye Newman.
The body said: “We implore our President to approve the project because of its economic benefits to the country. The $13.5 billion project will be executed by Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) in partnership with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO). It involves the development of the Zabazaba Deepwater field, a greenfield offshore licence in eastern portion of Niger Delta with reserves of 560 million barrels of oil, which will increase daily crude production.
“The project will be a boost to the country’s economy and local content initiative promoted and prioritised by the present government. Information from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board showed that the technical and commercial bids for the project had met the government’s aspiration of growing and maximising local content at the most competitive cost.
“The major contractors for the project, NAE and SNEPCO, have concluded plans for in-country fabrication and integration of the topsides of their projects’ Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessels.
“The local content component of the project is unequalled, and its impact on the economy, when fully executed, will be unprecedented. When it becomes operational, the project is expected to generate at least $8 billion for Nigeria.
“Besides, the multiplier effect of the project on the local economies of the catchment areas in Niger Delta will be huge. It will be a major boost to the Buhari administration’s commitment to ensure peace in the region through the profitable engagement of idle hands.
“Approval of the project will also be a powerful statement of the APC Federal Government’s belief and commitment to the promotion of indigenous development of the oil and gas industry.
“We, therefore, urge you, Mr. President, to, in line with your fatherly disposition to the implementation of core projects that will drive development in all parts of Nigeria and Niger Delta, in particular, give official confirmation to the project so that it can begin in earnest this year.”