The six South-South states, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta, which goes by the acronym BRACED states, are seriously planning a major energy infrastructural development in the region that could stretch from Calabar to possibly Lagos.
The Niger Delta Energy Corridor (NDEC) is a mega infrastructural project that is planned to host clusters of oil and gas related industries including some of the current existing oil and gas facilities in the region and beyond. It also includes those to be built in future within the Niger Delta region and up to Lagos.
The ambitious project, according to its promoters, promises to be one of the largest industrial clusters in Africa with the potential to transform the region and change the economic trajectory of the country.
Joe Keshi, the director-general of the BRACED Commission, believes that with cooperation between the federal, states and the private sector, the corridor could be in full operation within the next ten years.
He said that the major advantage of the corridor as envisaged is that crude oil export will end and Nigeria will gain more by processing its oil in the country and producing all chemicals it requires for its industries.
Projects like the Niger Delta Energy Corridor, he insists, are the type of projects the nation should be embarking on because of its economic significance and the security it provides the nation.
What is, however, most attractive and ambitious is the huge benefits of the Niger Delta Energy Corridor to the region and indeed to the nation, he said.
The Niger Delta Energy Corridor was first unveiled in 2011 by the Rivers State Economic Advisory Council (RSEAC) as a strategy to process the region’s vast natural resources to accelerate industrialisation of the BRACED states, that of its neighbours and enhance regional development. In April 2012, the BRACED states, at the 2nd South-South Economic Summit in Asaba, Delta State accepted in principle to adopt and ensure the implementation of the corridor as a regional project.
Information from Business Day was used in this report.