FG Unfolds Fresh Plans for Niger Delta Devt

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• Increases budgetary allocations to NDDC, N’Delta ministry
• Considers 13 licences for modular refineries

Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

In view of the recent threat by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to resume attacks on oil installations, the federal government at the weekend released plans for the development of the volatile oil-rich Niger Delta region.

Nigeria depends on its oil for almost 90 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings and 70 per cent of total earnings.
Sustained attacks on oil installations by the Avengers in the first of 2016 contributed to halving Nigeria’s oil output and plunging the country into its first recession in 25 years.

But with the temporary end to hostilities secured by the government late last year, Nigeria has been able to ramp up crude production and was one of the major factors, along with higher oil prices, that the country exited the recession by the second quarter of 2017.

A statement by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, Sunday night listed the plans to include increased budgetary allocation to the Niger Delta ministry and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), take off of the Maritime University in Delta State, commencement of the Ogoni clean-up exercise, investment in infrastructure such as the construction of N120.6 billion Bonny-Bodo Road and N1 billion Ibaka deep sea port.

Other plans he listed were approval for the establishment of an export processing zone in Delta State, approval for establishment of modular refineries, and increased allocation for Presidential Amnesty Programme.
Giving details of the budgetary allocations for the region’s programme in 2018, Akande said N71.20 billion was allocated in the 2018 budget to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), N65 billion for the Amnesty Programme, and N53.89 billion for the Ministry of Niger Delta, up from the N34.20 billion in 2017.
On the Maritime University, he said: “The new Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, has now commenced operations, inviting job applications for academic staff.

“President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration recently approved an increase in the take off grant from the N2 billion earlier announced to N5 billion. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly earlier this week under the Federal Ministry of Education allocation.
“Academic activities are expected to start in the university soon following the completion of the hiring process for professors, readers, senior lecturers, lecturers, assistant, assistant lecturers and graduate assistants to teach in the Faculties of Science, Maritime Transportation, Maritime Engineering and Technology, Maritime Environmental Management and General Studies.

“The take off of the Maritime University was one of the major requests tabled before the federal government when Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo went on a series of tour to all the Niger Delta states during the year, following President Buhari’s meeting with leaders of the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) last November.”
On Ogoni clean up, he said in June 2016, the administration started the implementation of the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland devastated by decades of oil spills.
“An inter-ministerial committee on Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) under the Federal Ministry of Environment was established.

“HYPREP has since set up structures in place for the final take off of the clean up and restoration of the region devastated by oil spills. This shows the commitment of the FG to restore the region.
“Eight companies have been engaged to conduct demonstration clean up exercises in the four local government areas of Ogoniland, to enable HYPREP select the best and most suitable technology for the remediation work.
“These demonstrations were recently concluded; the results are being studied by the governing council of the Ogoni clean up project.

“HYPREP has also trained 15 indigenous Ogoni scientists on environmental assessment remediation.
“HYPREP assessed existing water facilities in Ogoniland in line with the UNEP recommendation report that potable water be provided for Ogoni, following pollution of water sources in the region by oil spills.
“A health impact assessment study to be done to ascertain whether there is a link between some disease patterns and oil pollution in the affected communities is also being done.
“Bids have been invited for consultancy on provision of water, health study and environmental remediation,” the statement added.

It explained that the Bonny-Bodo bridge and road project is a public private partnership arrangement jointly funded by the federal government and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) on a 50:50 basis.
According to him, when completed, the 34-kilometre road will connect several major communities in the Niger Delta region and boost socio-economic development and improve on the lives of people in the region.

Akande also said the federal government approved the establishment of the export processing zone (EPZ) comprising the gas city project at Ogidigben and the deep seaport in Gbaramatu, Warri South-west Local Government Area of Delta State.
“When fully operational, these projects are expected to boost socio-economic activities and improve the security landscape of the Niger Delta region,” he added.
On the modular refineries, he said 13 of 35 applications received by the government had reached what he described as the LTC (Licence to Construct) stage.
He also said two of these 13 refineries are almost ready for shipment while consideration for a customs duty waiver and some form of tax holidays are also underway.

The advent of modular refineries, he added, would create a robust domestic refining sector necessary to meet and exceed the full capacity of national demand, address the proliferation of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta and attendant environmental degradation, and provide jobs for unemployed youths in the region.

  • princegab

    ND militants should instead prepare for battle with the armed forces. Vp is a forerunner of a bad omen. Vp will be busy playing the role of firefighter when pmb will strike. Don’t be caught unexpectedly like kanu. Finish the cursed country to the betterment of its inhabitants.

  • Dele Awogbeoba

    Niger delta accounts for no more than 52% of total government earnings but accounts for over 70% of Nigeria’s foriegn exchange earnings. Thisday should do a better job of keeping up with up to date figures.

  • Olusola Olusina Micheal

    well let the govt fufils all promisese made without further delay..

    • princegab

      People in self deceit do not fulfil promises.

      • Pastor Successhome

        Do you even know, how things work? It take a process of time. Do you think all these promises are like going to local markets to buy and sell? I am involved in the Ogoni clean-up and I know, the stages we have gone through according to UNEP recommendations. The last phase has been concluded and waiting for full mobilisation, which will commence soon. However, some people like you are just there saying what they don’t know about. Don’t forget, we have a brother as President, our sister as full minister of petroleum, our brothers/sisters as head of various important ministries, agencies etc what did they do?

        • princegab

          I pity you bro, you can’t mislead people too long. What Nigeria is going through is a kind of hell in a cage. The people don’t believe in government any more. Just thank God no bloody revolution yet. Mark the “yet” .
          Pmb administration is corrupt.

          • Red Card!

            A lot of people still believe in the government or else the revolution would have started already. The point is that too many Nigerians don’t know how to pay attention and follow their leaders intelligently. They get carried away by the next ‘big gist’ instead of following up with the government on every promise made. When we keep shifting our attention like that the government also keeps changing their focus to whatever tantalizes us.

            No government is good all over the world. they are only as good as their citizens force them to be. Citizens who don’t know how to dedicate themselves to a disciplined and systematic pattern of monitoring and pressuring their leaders into properly articulated actions will end up with the haphazard and inconsistent policy environment we suffer in Nigeria. The leadership is really, to a large extent, a reflection of the caliber of people we have become.

          • princegab

            I don’t know when you started following this Government intelligently. You should have known that what our ruling elites lack is intelligence. Perhaps deliberately but in any case ,they are rocking the boat testing the people’s resolve.

          • Red Card!

            They have been rocking the boat since independence and mostly getting away with it. My point is about a change in our own behavior towards leadership of every capacity in Nigeria – Federal, State and Local governments, down to the Wards.. We only wait until things get very bad before we demand accountability. Even the best leaders must be followed with a measure of skepticism and constructive criticism. It’s not just about the present government sir, it’s a behavior that Nigerians have never really learned, but must collectively master before the change we desire can begin to take place.

          • princegab

            Fish rot from its head sir. The people have done their best bro. Let’s pray god forbid a bloody revolution.

          • Red Card!

            We will never have a bloody revolution and we must never hope for it. Nigerians do not have the cohesiveness to ever be led in a united revolution. Every other group except the Fulani Muslims are divided against themselves. We must seek other sensible ways to push for change within the current existing structures. That would begin with a change of attitude and approach from this generation of clueless and noisy youth.

          • princegab

            You are funny bro. You are just scratching the surface. Sir, the confused and noisy youth is a product of who?
            These are innocents, please don’t drive them to despair.

  • vic

    ALL LIES AND STORIES TO KEEP AVENGERS AWAY BUT THEY WILL NOT SUCCEED IN THEIR PETTY TRICKS.

  • Asuk

    Unending deception. Are Niger deltans fools?

  • Stanley

    Does this APC government know what they stand to gain if they complete and commission the East-West road? This road cut across the 6 south-south zone and it is over 80% completed with all the bridges in place. That is the key to win the respect, support, loyalty and votes of the zone. This road is he priority project that FG should endeavour to complete within a year.

  • Sarah

    Osinbajo the bare-faced Liar!
    You specifically promised Niger Delta youth that illegal modular refineries will be legalized and those youth will be allocated crude oil. You also specifically promised to create women empowerment programs.
    All these promises were made more than 12 calendar months ago. Any government with decent level of integrity should have begun delivering by the end of 3 calendar months.
    To confirm your government’s insincerity, you ignored all humble and peaceful reminders from PANDEF, the elders. Now that the youth are threatening to resume bombing you suddenly come with another meaninglessness statement.
    NDA please don’t resume bombing pipelines because you will be causing health problems for your people for generations to come. Please mobilise your people to reject Buhari/Osinbajo at 2019 elections. Also make sure you demand specific projects with timelines from Atiku or whomever you choose to vote for at 2019.
    Una Mumu Don Do!

    • princegab

      Vp the firefighter is a poli-trick-cian.
      Pmb will dump he afterwards.

  • sannibello_27

    This government remains a joke. The government is not dropping a dime for bodo to Bonny.. NLNG negotiated a tax holiday as government part. Will projected 60billion NLNG go to government coffers and they plough same back to NLNG.. Answer is no. NLNG only took the formula they granted Dangote et al for road construction on behalf of government with equivalent tax rebate.

    • Red Card!

      A man owes you money, you ask him to buy a car for you wife with the money and they deliver the car. Who bought the car? just trying to understand your arithmetic.

      • sannibello_27

        It is confusing because taxes meant for commonwealth is now bridged to meet needs of a particular area. This is wrong because this government is setting a bad precedence. They have a Niger Delta ministry which if funded with commonwealth tax budget like power projects, kaduna rail, lagos to ibadan expressway will still meet government equity in the project.

        • Red Card!

          The argument gets interesting here. I need to get your meaning of commonwealth. Maybe when you understand the contribution the Niger Delta region is making to your common wealth then you will understand why the government must of necessity give major attention to the demands of that region. There is no confusion here. If a region is making the biggest contribution to the national budget then that region must have a bigger share of the developmental resources of the Nation. Especially when that contribution is bringing about a degradation of their environment and economic livelihood. The Niger Delta has been neglected and mismanaged for so long now that the government must go into overdrive to save the situation.

          If the government had been doing the sensible thing since the discovery of oil we would never have heard of militancy in that region.

  • Daniel Obior

    This was exactly where we were about a year ago. This incompetent Buhari government has no sincerity of purpose. It makes pledges it knows it certainly will not keep, and when the heat is on, it repeats the same pledges. In between the pledges which it does not fulfill, it sends its military to knock the heads of the Niger Delta people, with the senseless hope that they will be cowed into submission. Typically the tactics of a cowardly bully. The best solution to the Niger Delta problem as well as others, is honest and sincere dialogue. Unfortunately, Buhari is neither honest and sincere, nor believes in dialogue. Why then should the pledges of this despot be believed?

    • salele

      Mr. This was exactly where we were about a year ago. Read The article again please.

      • Daniel Obior

        I do not need to read it again. A year ago, more or less the same promises were made. That is the thrust of my comment. If you disagree, say what you disagree with.

    • D.S.

      Hahaha…@knock the head of the niger delta people…

  • Felix Udoh

    Wow! Apc is about to fool us again. Imagine, 1 Billion Naira for the Estimated 2 Billion dollars Ibaka deep sea port project? What can 1 Billion Naira do for a 2 Billion dollar project? I guess Akwa Ibom State will continue to be starved of Federal projects until we start bursting pipelines.

    • Olusola Olusina Micheal

      you can go ahead..i mean your veryself can go to where the pipelines are and burst it so development can come out of it….lol u appeaerd as if you are ignorant of the issues but no..u are just being mischivious in your analysis

      • Felix Udoh

        And where in my comment did I say I was going to go bursting pipelines? My comment has to do with the fact that the bulk of the proposed projects are going to Delta State and the environs and my question is, is this because Akwa Ibom People are largely peaceful? Will it take the destruction of pipelines for the uninspiring APC led Federal Government to know or take note that Akwa Ibom State has no federal presence or federal projects? If you are not clever by half and if you have anything apart from cotton wool in that space between your ears, I am sure you would know that I am not being mischievous in my analysis.