Saturday, June 11, 2016 10:39 am
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The United Kingdom has indicated its preparedness to enhance security in the Niger Delta through job creation and tackling environmental pollution.
The country also pledged to seek ways of boosting the economy of the Niger Delta region.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, gave the indication during a courtesy call on the Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson in Government House, Yenagoa.
He was accompanied by Mr. Edward Dunn, Political Secretary, Niger Delta and Mr. Osaro Odemwingie, Senior Political Adviser of the High Commission.
A statement issued on Friday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, quoted the Envoy as saying his visit to Bayelsa State was part of efforts to explore the Niger Delta, with a view to understanding the challenges facing the people.
According to him, the reasons for insecurity in the Niger Delta were deep rooted, stressing the need to address the problems, through the creation of employment opportunities, particularly for the youths.
According to him, part of his job as the British High Commissioner to Nigeria involves encouraging companies in the United Kingdom to invest in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta, which he described as a significant region.
Arkwright said, “Part of my job is to try to encourage British companies to come and invest in Nigeria, the Niger Delta region and indeed in Bayelsa State and help create jobs and employment opportunities to see what we can do on the security front in broad terms.
“There are deep-rooted reasons for insecurity here. I think it is important for all of us to collectively tackle the source of the problems and I’m here to listen, to learn about how the UK can support the Governor and his team.”
In his remarks, Dickson described the visit of the Envoy to Bayelsa State as important as the state occupies a strategic location in the Niger Delta, coupled with its vital role in the oil and gas industry.
He lauded the British High Commissioner to Nigeria for his efforts in strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries and assured him of the state government’s commitment to the maintenance of peace and security in the state.
The Governor, who applauded the British Government, United Nations and other partners for the Ogoni land clean up initiative, called for its extension to other affected parts of the Niger Delta.
Dickson also commended Arkwright for his decision to explore the Niger Delta, with a view to experiencing first hand; the living conditions of the people vis-à-vis, the natural resources in the region.