Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The federal gvernment announced Tuesday that it had rreleased N2 billion for the take off of the Maritime University, Okerekoko Delta State by October.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who disclosed this in Akure, Ondo State while declaring open the second National Council on Niger Delta said that academic activities would soon commence at the university, adding: â€œWe believe that as soon as it takes off, of course, academic activities and engagement and all of that will go on within the period.â€
The theme of the second National Council on Niger Delta organised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is â€œFast-tracking the development of the Niger Delta region: options and prospects.â€
Osinbajo, who restated the commitment of the present administration towards rapid development of the Niger Delta region, added that â€œfor us development of the Niger Delta region is not optional.â€
The vice President also noted that the issue of Ogoniland clean-up was very much on course and that the government was working towards ensuring that right things were dome at the right time.
He promised that the clean-up exercise would not be limited to Ogoniland alone but all other affected areas in the oil-rich region.
The present administration, he said, was ready to support the establishment of modular refineries in the region in order to create wealth and employment in the region in particular and the country at large
â€œOne of our plans for the Niger Delta region is to support the establishment of privately owned modular refineries. Many of the licences handed out by the previous administrations have since expired.
â€œThe biggest challenge that these licenses have being facing has been funding,â€ he said.
Osinbajo also disclosed that the administration was committed and now working towards establishment of Refineries Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to support the investments.â€
His words: â€œNow, modular refineries project is supposed to be privately sector led, but with the collaboration of the Federal Government, State Governments, we have done a fair lot of work on these modular refineries
â€œWe have released guideline for the establishment of modular refineries. We have met with several interested parries from the various parts of Niger Delta region, with investors and some cases with the state governments.
â€œThis is the project we are committed to, we want the state governments to also work with the local governments so that we can draw a kind of commercial viable plans that can sustain the modular refineries when they take off.
â€œIn addition, we are trying the young people who were previously involved in the artsinal refining in alternative means of refining including skills that would enable them participate in modular refineries.â€