Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bonny Kingdom and Julius Berger Nigeria Limited (JBN) for the reconstruction of the Bonny Consulate Building, a 19th century historic landmark in Bonny Kingdom.
The MoU was signed in Bonny by NLNG’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Tony Attah on behalf of the company and JBN’s Managing Director, Dr. Lars Richter on behalf of JBN in the presence of the Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny Kingdom, His Majesty, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, JP, CON, Perekule XI on Friday.
The MoU signing follows the foundation stone laying ceremony which was part of the NLNG’s 30 years of incorporation and 20 years of production anniversary celebrations in 2019.
According to a statement by an NLNG spokesperson, the building which was the seat of British colonial administration with a district commissioner and other administrative offices in 1897 is being reconstructed to restore the memory of the ancient artefact. The building, on completion, will replicate the look and feel of the old Consulate building and will house Bonny FM Radio Station, office of the King of Bonny, a Library, a Museum, a Café, a Movie hall, a Seminar/Exhibition hall, as well as a Souvenir shop and offices for those who will manage the tourism Initiative and various aspects of the facility.
The building is a partnership project between NLNG, JBN and Bonny Kingdom.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Enrg. Attah stated that NLNG was pursuing a vision of a Bonny community that will be likened to Dubai in terms of tourism and economic activities, He added that the Company is resolute in achieving its dream of upscaling the prominence of Bonny and helping to make it a major investment destination.
“We believe firmly that restoring the historic colonial antiquity which portrayed the economic significance of Bonny Island to the British colonial masters, will elicit tourists’ interest and the community can also reap from the economic benefit of tourism,” he said.
He added that the building was part of the company’s sustainability CSR projects in the Kingdom which includes its N60 billion commitment to the building of the Bonny-Bodo road that will connect the Island to the mainland and state capital as well as the Bonny Community Health Insurance Programme, a project to promote good health on the Island.
On its part, the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Ltd, Dr. Lars Richter stated that JBN was proud to be associated with this noble project of restoring a historical landmark in Bonny.
Also speaking at the event, the Amanyanabo of Bonny Kingdom, His Majesty, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, Perekule XI, said the Kingdom faced the risk of losing its unique cultural heritage and history, adding that the Kingdom must turn around on its current trajectory and convert the risk to an opportunity to transform the Kingdom into a modern tourist destination.
He said the consulate building was reminiscent of the active involvement of the British in the internal affairs of the kingdom in the 19th century following their interest in the favourable business clime they found on the Island, adding that “we have high hopes as a kingdom that the replication of the consulate building by NLNG, would not only bolster our tourism potentials, it would also enable our kingdom to proudly keep the memoirs of its ancient business history.”
NLNG is owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l (10.4%).