Ministries of Niger Delta Affairs, Petroleum Resources, Presidential Amnesty Office, International Oil and Gas Companies (IOCs) and the Nine States in the Niger Delta region are forming a synergy to ensure a coordinated plan for sustainable peace and development of the Niger Delta region.
The decision was taken at a meeting of stakeholders in the Niger Delta region hosted by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Minister said that the import of the meeting was to have a compact strategy on issues relating to development in the Niger Delta region. He stressed that the meeting which will be holding quarterly would involve Federal and state governments and the private sector in order to develop a stronger partnership for development.
“We have agreed that we will no longer have discordant tunes of development efforts because functioning independently has reasonably amounted to abandonment of projects because it is assumed that people do not know who is responsible for what. But right now, from the common pool, we can hold particular agencies responsible.” He reiterated.
Usani stressed that the meeting was organised to among other issues, enable the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs make its mandate clearer for better cooperation and synergy; avail it the opportunity to have detailed information regarding the plans and programmes of the International Oil and Gas Companies for the development of the Niger Delta region, as well as to proffer solution to the menace of militancy and engender investment opportunities to create job for the teeming unemployed youths in the Niger Delta region.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu revealed that a programme involving the state governments in the Niger Delta region, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, his Ministry, Presidential Amnesty Office, Oil and Gas Companies and other relevant stakeholders, would soon be rolled out to give room for jobs, contracts, business opportunities in the oil rich region.
Similarly, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. General Paul Boroh (rtd) noted that about 30,000 ex-militants trained by his office were available for engagement by oil companies and other companies that were willing to engage them.
He added that the Presidential Amnesty Programme has achieved a lot due to understanding it has had with various ministries and leaders of the ex-agitators.
In his view, the Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria, Mr. Jeff Ewing said oil companies were in a challenging time, saying that they were concerned about the safety of their oil installations in the Niger Delta region, so they could generate enough revenue for the federal government of Nigeria.
Mr. Jeff added that oil companies appreciated the importance of working with host communities, Ministries of Niger Delta Affairs, Petroleum Resources and other relevant agencies, to ensure sustainable peace in the region.
However, the Managing Director of Total Nigeria, Niclas Terraz said there was need to continue to work hard for a cordial relationship with oil communities and government. “We know what we are doing and what we could do better,” he added.
31st January, 2017