Roadmap for Niger Delta development to be unveiled

A fuel storage facility in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria on 8 June 2016. Photo: STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP

ABUJA – The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to soon unveil a comprehensive roadmap for the development of the Niger Delta.

This was according to a source in the Presidency who said the road map was the high point of the implementation planning meeting on 17 March, between the Federal Government and Niger Delta stakeholders, in conjunction with multinational oil companies.

The meeting took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presiding.

According to the source, the road map, which will signpost the transformation of the region, comprises a diligent, new and comprehensive work plan that will address marginalisation and underdevelopment in the region.

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It was learnt that the broad areas of initial interventions being considered in the plan included the take-off of the Maritime University and the attendant financial grant, and the establishment of Modular Refineries, including the engagement of the illegal refiners.

Also in the plan is the continuation and revamping of the Pipeline Protection contracts; a progressive review of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, revisiting the Abandoned Projects in the region; and the Clean-up of Ogoni land.

The implementation of the work plan would be anchored by the Federal Government, in conjunction with the relevant state governments, development partners, the private sector and multinational organisations operating in the region.

In the plan, the Federal Government has activated a process for the smooth take-off of the Maritime University, Gbaramatu, with the Petroleum Trust Development Fund as the lead agency in the implementation.

In this regard, the Federal Government is considering the release of a substantial take-off grant for the university, while awaiting the conclusion of legislation on the establishment of the university by the National Assembly.

According to the source, the Presidency has directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in conjunction with the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) and other stakeholders, to design an effective funding model for the university.

The Presidency has also directed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to liaise with the relevant agencies and organisations to facilitate the construction of an access road through Escravos to the university in Gbaramatu community.

African News Agency

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