Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
In pursuit of the commitment to halt the unrest in the Niger Delta, foster development of the region and promote the wellbeing of its people, the federal government and Bayelsa State Tuesday announced the imminent take-off of Brass Fertilizer & Petro-Chemical Company in the state.
Receiving a delegation led by the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, over the scheme in the State House, Abuja, acting President Yemi Osinbajo, lamented the 12 per cent completion rate in several of the projects initiated by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the past 17 years.
The acting president, according to a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the rest of the projects were abandoned, submitting that â€œsometimes projects are designed not to succeed but just for some people to make money,â€ as he commended Dickson for his proactive efforts and collaboration with the Brass company.
He said the new approach which he said would alter the thinking and orientation in the region would involve an active and effective collaboration between the federal government, the private sector and affected communities, adding that the approach would ensure that â€œwe finish whatever we start.â€
He added: â€œThis is what we describe as the new vision: partnership between the federal government, states, communities and the private sector. This is the new way of thinking that is emerging, the new vision.â€
Emphasising that â€œa new way of thinking is emergingâ€ in the Niger Delta, Osinbajo highlighted effective collaboration with the private sector, citing the example of the Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG) as one instance of such effective collaborations.
He said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was promoting a new way of thinking and engagement that would secure the development of not only the Niger Delta but also the entire country.
â€œThis government, is committed to finishing whatever we start. At the end of the day, we shall ensure that,â€ he added, observing that the oil-producing communities have tremendous potentials.
In his remark, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, described the idea of Brass Fertiliser & Petro-Chemical Company as â€œa game changer that we need to encourage.â€ He said such ideas had the potential to change the economic model in the Niger Delta.
The acting President, the statement added, also received a delegation from the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) led by its President, Mr. Richard Olafare, and the Director-General of National Agricultural Seed Council, Dr. P.O. Ojo.
He assured the delegation that the federal government would do much more in the area of agriculture, observing that fertilizer and seed inputs are vital for â€œagricultural revolutionâ€ that Buhariâ€™s administration is delivering.
â€œYour visit and contributions are very important to us. The President has said we must grow what we eat. We must be able to grow everything we eat. This is very important to us. We are very committed to food security. It is important to hear your views as we shape policy,â€ he added.