Monday, February 13, 2017 11:36 pm
Acting, Prof. President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday said that the Federal Government was committed to peace, development and security in the Niger Delta region.
Osinbajo made the pledge at a Town Hall meeting in Port Harcourt with Rivers stakeholders on the development of the State and the Niger Delta.
He said that the need for peace, development and security was the basis for the sustenance of the Federal Government Amnesty programme for the youths in the region.
The Ag.President noted that government would encourage industrialisation in a bid to make the region vibrant economically.
Osinbajo disclosed that the Federal Government was planning some skill acquisition programmes for youths towards wealth creation and avert restiveness in the area.
He said that there was no reason why infrastructure would not be provided for the people in the region like their counterparts in other parts of the world.
He stated that government acknowledged the fact that part of the crisis in the region was as a result of negative impact from oil exploration by oil multinationals.
Osinbajo promised that modular refineries would be established to fast track development in the region.
He disclosed that some investors had indicated interest in the construction of the modular refineries.
The Ag. President commended the oil producing communities for being peaceful despite the various socio economic challenges they were facing in the area.
He called for a synergy between the Federal Government and all stakeholders in the development of the region, adding that there was a plan by government for environmental remediation for the region.
On the Ogoniland clean up, Osinbajo disclosed that there was a serious commitment on the part of the Federal government to ensure total implementation of the project.
He said as part of the implementation of the Ogoniland Cleanup, there would be a community based sensitisation of the programme for the four local government areas of the Ogoni.
Osinbajo noted that a governing board had since been inaugurated to oversee the effective and successful implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoniland.
The Ag. President pledged that the 16 point agenda presented to the government by the elders of the region in 2016 would be looked into.
In his remarks, Governor Nyesom Wike commended the Ag. President for his visit to identify with the people of the Niger Delta and Rivers in particular.
He pledged the readiness of the state government to form a synergy with the federal government to develop the state and the region at large.
The governor lamented that though the state contributed so much for the economic development of the nation, there was nothing to show for it.
Wike, who commended various efforts by the federal government to develop the region, noted that he was optimistic that the visit of the Ag. President would usher in a new vista of hope for the region.
He called on the Federal government to revamp and complete some of the uncompleted and ailing infrastructure like the Bodo/Bonny federal road, some part of the East/West road and Port Harcourt International Airport.
Wike stressed that if the aforementioned infrastructure were put in place, they would boost rapid socio economic development in the state.
The governor called on the federal government to resolve the issue of boundary and the money paid into escro account on oil between Bayelsa and the state.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the state Elders council, Chief Onueze Okocha, said that the state was not at war with the federal government.
He called for a synergy between the Federal and state government to build the state through the creation of wealth for the people.
Also a representative of the host communities, Chief Hope Opusingi, urged the federal government to direct soldiers posted to the region to also protect the people and not only oil installations.
A representative of the women and an environmental activist, Mrs Ann Kio-Briggs, called on the federal government to restore security aides of Gov. Wike.
Kio-Briggs also called for the reinstatement of the six dismissed policemen attached to Wike who were dismissed by the police authority on electoral issues.
She said that the State and the governor were exposed to danger and insecurity as there were no security aides for him.
The representative of the Traditional Institution and Amayanabo of Opobo Kingdom, His Majesty, King Dandeson Jaja also called on the Federal government to restore Wike’s security aides.
The News Agency of Nigeria [ NAN] reports that others who spoke in the forum, urged the Federal government to summon the political will to develop the State and the Niger Delta region. [ NAN]