Implement MoUs to Curb Violence in N’Delta, Security Expert Tells IOCs

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• Boroh: Over 5m persons benefit from amnesty programme

By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja and James Sowole in Akure

A security expert, Mr. William Park, has advised international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the Niger Delta to constantly implement the provisions of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) reached with host communities in order to curb the incidents of  violent activities in the region.

Park spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital where stakeholders converged at the second National  Council on Niger Delta (NCND), organised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

In a presentation titled: ‘Security: An  Inclusive and Collaborative Security strategy of the Niger Delta Region,’ he identified  oil spills, poor means of livelihood and lack of coherent and integrated development plan as the biggest threats to security in the region.

He, therefore, advocated the practice of an “inclusive security approach”  which  includes the involvement of stakeholders in the prevention and resolution of violent conflicts in the region.

Park stressed that efforts should be put in place by government, oil companies and host communities to develop sustainable industries in the region, adding that this would reduce rural-urban drift and check unemployment with attendant boost on the nation’s economy.

He stressed  that all approaches must be based on truth, equity, fairness and inclusiveness.

According to a statement issued by the Director, Press in the Ministry of Niger Delta, Mr. Marshall Gundu, in search of efforts to tackle the challenges and obstacles to the development of the region, stakeholders held a consultative forum in Akure at the weekend to identify and  evolve strategies  of overcoming such.

In his presentation titled: ‘Security and Amnesty in the Niger Delta,’  the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), said the programme was being sustained by the  federal government to  cater for the yearnings of the region.

Boroh disclosed that the federal government was  committed to exploring new strategies of ensuring  peace and security in the region.

He revealed  that a lot of “quick impact projects” were being executed to ensure that the region is safer and conducive for economic growth and  development.

 Boroh said over five million persons mostly youths  have benefited from the Presidential Amnesty Programme of the federal government.

He said peace efforts in the Niger Delta region had brought about increase in the nation’s  crude oil production to 2.3 million barrels per day, surpassing the 2017 budget’s target of 2.2 million barrels.

He said though the amnesty programme was expensive, but has yielded a lot of fruits in the interest of peace and the country’s economy.