Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The federal government and stakeholders from the Niger Delta region have resolved to work together to stop the current upsurge in attacks on critical oil and gas installations and ensure security, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said.
NNPC said in a statement from its Group General Manager Public Affairs, Mallam Garba Deen Muhammad that the meeting also discussed ways to ensure stability and economic development of the area.
The statement was sent to THISDAY Thursday in Abuja.
The statement said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated after the meeting that the government was ready to check the resurgence of pipeline sabotage in the region.
Kachikwu, it explained noted that all the stakeholders have resolved that solutions to the incessant attacks on oil and gas pipelines are within the communities.
He stated that communities were now saddled with the responsibility of ensuring protection of pipelines within their domain.
He also added that all the states in the region would nominate about five representatives who would work hand-in-hand with security agencies to secure oil facilities in their respective states.
The minister further stated in the statement that it was resolved that violence was not an option in resolving the problems of the Niger Delta and that all threats from the region should end henceforth.
He stated that there was need to reach out to all other stakeholders who were not part of the meeting to embrace peace and dialogue.
According to him, there was also need to restructure the Amnesty Programme so as to address the critical issue of neglect by the government and international oil companies.
“The Niger Delta Governors must be involved in providing lasting solutions to the resurgence of pipeline vandalism and there is urgent need to create business opportunities for the locals in the region,” Kachikwu was quoted to have stated.
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