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Federal Government Approves N100bn for East West Road Project - Usani

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has said that the Federal Government had approved the sum of One Hundred Billion Naira (N100BN) for the completion of Sections 1 to 4 of the East West road project.

The Minister disclosed this at a meeting with the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), led by its National Chairman, High Chief (Dr.) Style Benjamin Tamaranebi, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

It could be recalled that the findings from a Presidential Inter-Ministerial team on assessment tour of Sections 1 to 4 of the East West road from Warri, Delta State to Oron, Akwa Ibom State, in the year 2018, showed that contractors would require about N100bn to complete the four sections of the flagship project in the Niger Delta region, the Minister said the submission from the committee culminated in the said approval of the fund.

Pastor Usani added that the China Export-Import bank had also agreed to support the construction of section 5 of the East West road from Oron to Calabar, with $500M, while the Federal Government pays counterpart funding.

The Minister disclosed that the Federal Government was at the verge of awarding the contract with a new design.

He added that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority was to monitor the completion of Sections 1 to 4 of the East West road, saying that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs had given its nod to the directive of the Presidency that the N100bn should be paid directly to the contractors from the Federation Account.

The Minister revealed that the Federal Government has also directed that the Gas Flare Penalty Fine being requested by the host communities, be released to them.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Omoleye Daramola, decried a situation where contracts were awarded to the indigenes of the Niger Delta region, who ended up abandoning the projects after payments, he said decisive actions would be taken to address such occurrences.

“We are doing our best to see how all the communities in the Niger Delta region will benefit from government projects, activities and programmes,” he reiterated.

Prof. Daramola disclosed that all completed projects in the region by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs would be handed over to benefitting communities in due course.

In his remarks, the National Chairman of the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), High Chief (Dr.) Style Benjamin Tamaranebi, said their visit was to seek the Federal Government’s collaboration through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, in a bid to address the challenges of various communities in the Niger Delta region.

Signed
Stephen Kilebi
Deputy Director
(Press and Public Relations)
9th April, 2019

Senate, Reps Committees Task Niger Delta Ministry on Budget Implementation

The Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Niger Delta have emphasized the need for effective implementation of budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, for the benefits of the people of the Niger Delta region.

This view was expressed by the Chairmen of the committees on Niger Delta when the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani led the Ministry’s delegation to the National Assembly for the 2018 Budget Defence and presentation of the 2019 Draft Budget in Abuja, on Thursday.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi noted: “If we discover that you do not deserve the money allocated to you by Mr. President, we will ensure that such money is given to other Ministries or agencies that need it, but if we also discover that the money allocated to you is smaller than what you require, we will source for other areas of raising funds for you.”

Senator Nwaoboshi added that the Ministry should ensure timely completion of projects that would benefit the people of the Niger Delta region, while charging it to do away with those projects he tagged, ‘less important.’

He hinted that the discoveries from the committee’s oversight visits to the region would be the major deciding factors for the consideration of the Ministry’s 2019 Appropriation.

Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Niger Delta, Honourable Essien Ayi said his Committee was interested in the completion of on-going capital projects in the Niger Delta region, saying that the committee, in its last oversight visit to various projects of the Ministry in the region witnessed a number of uncompleted projects.

Hon. Ayi also advised that completed housing schemes in the Niger Delta region by the Ministry should be handed over to the beneficiaries to address their housing need. “The Niger Delta people deserve to be treated better,” he reiterated.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, while presenting a draft budget of N41,600,274,568 covering Capital, Overhead and Personnel Appropriation for 2019 before the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Niger Delta, disclosed that about 80 projects- roads, water, electricity, housing, blocks of class room, food and cassava processing plants, health care centres, empowerment programmes, sensitisation on peace and security, medical outreaches, land reclamation and erosion control, among others, were completed within the 2018 budget year across the nine states of the Niger Delta region.

Pastor Usani said that the implementation of the 2018 Capital Budget was still on-going, adding that more capital projects would still be completed before June, 2019.

He said that the Ministry was guided by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration’s determination to move the country to the Next Level, in preparing the budget. “The core projects earmarked for execution in the fiscal year 2019 are indeed consistent with the programmes spelt out in the Budget guidelines,“ he reiterated.

The Minister stressed that his Ministry will continue to ensure that quality jobs are delivered to the people and residents of the Niger Delta region by contractors.

Stephen Kilebi
Deputy Director
(Press and Public Relations)
4th April, 2019

Federal Government and Indian Government Collaborate on Training, Youth Development and Security of Investments in Niger Delta

The Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has disclosed the Federal Government's readiness to collaborate with the Government of India on training, youth development and security of investments in the Niger Delta region.

The Minister disclosed this while playing host to the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Abhay Thakur, in Abuja, On Tuesday 26th March, 2019.

Pastor Usani commended the Government of India for its numerous support for Nigeria towards human capital development in education, adding that Nigeria looked forward to further high-level engagements with India, especially in politics.

"The Niger Delta is suffering a lot of things, communities in the region are being submerged under the sea due to serious coastal problems," he added.

The Minister reiterated, "In every raining season, not less than ten to twenty communities are being lost in some States in the Niger Delta region due to flooding."

Pastor Usani called on the Indian High Commissioner to use his good office to see how his country, which he described as the largest democracy in the world, to advance Nigeria's democracy.

In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Omoleye Daramola called on Indian Government to establish Indian Hospitals in Nigeria, saying such will check medical tourism and help the less privileged Nigerians who may not be opportune to travel to India for medical treatments.

Earlier, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Abhay Thakur disclosed that there had been considerable growth in his country's collaboration with Nigeria, saying that his country was committed to further collaboration on investments, power, agriculture and youth empowerment in the Niger Delta region.

In his words, “I had the privilege of receiving in audience, delegation of Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce recently and we discussed exchange of business opportunities, investments and operational maintenance of facilities as designed by business representatives of Niger Delta."

The High Commissioner added that his country had a capacity-building programme tagged; "Indian Technical and Economic Corporation (ITEC) Programme" under which his country had received several representatives from Niger Delta region of Nigeria, adding that more youths in Nigeria, especially those from the Niger Delta region could tap from such a programme.

He reiterated his country's commitment to partner with Nigeria in the areas of politics, business and medical infrastructure in Nigeria.

Signed
Stephen Kilebi
Deputy Director (Press)
26th March, 2019

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