The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has disclosed that the Federal Government has approved the redesigned Section V of the East West Road Project from Oron to Calabar, saying it is awaiting procument process for commencement of work.
Pastor Usani disclosed this to the stakeholders at the 2018 first quarter Meeting of Ministers of Niger Delta Affairs, the nine State Governors in the region and the Chief Executives of oil and gas companies (IOCs) operating in the Niger Delta Region, in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Minister added that the redesigning of that section of the road was based on the resolution reached at a stakeholders meeting comprising the people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States in 2016.
He assured that government will put concerted efforts in place to ensure early completion of Section V of the East West road, while issues affecting the completion of other sections of the road would be addressed in order to see that the people and residents of the Niger Delta Region enjoy the benefits of the project. He expressed regret that over 300 billion Naira had been expended on the East West road project "But it is still the way it is."
At the Tuesday meeting also, the Minister revealed that the Final copy of the Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP) which was unveiled at the Third Quarterly meeting of the Ministers, State Governors in the Niger Delta Region and IOCs, in September, 2017 was ready for presentation at an Inter-ministerial Committtee headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for passage.
He assured that the Forum has begun the discussion on the modalities for domestication of oil business opportunities in the Niger Delta Region in conformity with the Presidential order for local content.
In her remarks, the National Coordinator of the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD), Princess Gloria Akobundu called for an enabling environment for development efforts in the region to yield expected results. She added that strategic efforts must be put in place to arrest youth restiveness and ensure that the youths in the area key in to the development efforts of government and all the development partners and investors in the Niger Delta Region.
Similarly, in her presentation at the meeting, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Henshaw Capital Partners, Mrs Barbara James proposed a $10 Billion Dollar Private Sector Investment which was aimed at fast tracking the development of infrastructure and social well-being of the people of the Niger Delta Region.
According to her, the fund was targeted at a paradigm shift from public sector funding mechanism to private sector funding mechanism.
She added that the fund wound be sourced in partnership with the Federal Government from development partners, International Oil and Gas Companies, Sovereign Wealth Fund, both national and internationally, commercial banks, cooperative banks and Insurance accompanies.
James reiterated that the fund wound be pooled under the Niger Delta Investment Fund (FDIF) for investors to access and execute meaningful development in the Niger Delta Region.
Other participants at the meeting were the Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (rted), Representatives of Delta, Imo and Abia States Governors and the Chief Executives of International Oil and Gas Companies Operating in the Niger Delta Region and some members of the Pan-Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF).