#NDNewVision: Oil firms to refine 20% of crude output locally, says Kachikwu, as another modular refinery set to be established in Imo

The Federal Government is considering a policy that will compel operators of major oil and gas exploration and production firms to refine 20 per cent of their oil production in-country, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has said.

According to the Nation, Kachikwu gave the hint at the groundbreaking ceremony of the 5,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) modular refinery being developed by Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company at Ibigwe field, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.

The minister said the Federal Government would soon announce a policy to require operating companies to refine locally at least 20 per cent of the crude oil they produce, with the percentage graduating to 50 per cent in the next five years.

“We have no option or we will consistently stay in the abyss of lack of processing while we export all the raw materials,” he added.

The modular refinery project is being executed with 30 per cent equity financing by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and additional $35 million debt facility from the African Finance Corporation AFC). It is expected to start production in December 2020.

Kachikwu said the Federal Government’s policy on modular refineries is an integral part of the 14-point agenda for reducing militancy in the Niger Delta region. The plan, he noted, is to set up modular refineries in oil producing communities and use them to create jobs and absorb the militants. “We would take some of the good skills sets they have, polish them and put them into the system,” he said

According to him, 10 of the 38 licensed modular refineries had made appreciable progress in the development of their projects and the first one is expected to deliver products between December 2018 and January 2019. “From modular refineries, we will be able to process about 200,000 barrels of crude and put them into the system.”

He said the Federal Government was engendering the establishment of modular refineries through the financing model being managed by the NCDMB and had also granted free custom duty charges and other waivers to enable the investors bring in their equipment.

Amnesty office collaborates with NBTI on quality food production

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, has assured of his readiness to partner with the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI) on technology incubation especially in the area of food production.

He made this disclosure when the management of the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI) led by the Director-General, Dr Mohammed Jubrin, visited him this week in Abuja.

According to The Guardian, the Presidential Amnesty Office is partnering the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI) in order to improve the quality and certification of agricultural and other products of Amnesty Programme beneficiaries.

Prof. Dokubo said, “I think there is a necessity for us to work together to make sure that we can get those certifications that will enable people to consume what we produce, so that they will not create any harm for those who eat our products.

“I think there is a need for synergy between us because we do farming.

“I believe that if we go through the documents and understand everything, we will sit to have an MOU so that we can work directly with you.

“Then we will know all that it takes to set up other centres in the Niger Delta as most of the things we do will equally go to those centres to be accessed and evaluated to know if they are edible.”

He added, “And if they are, they will not give people any problem.”

Dr Jubrin responded by promising to quickly articulate a proposal for an MOU between the two agencies that will lead to quality food processing, production and manufacturing businesses.

He further said, “By the time we sit down and work out the ways in which we can collaborate, I think the youth can be gainfully employed.

“Apart from being employed, they can become employers of labour directly or indirectly.

“So, our collaboration is going to be strong in such a way that both sides of the collaborators are going to benefit.

“The producers have to produce from a uniform source so that a basic raw material will have the same property.

“The processing technology will be the same, so that at the end of the day, the final product will be the same irrespective of the final production.”

Dr. Jubrin also explained that, “The centre that is anchoring that is not in the Niger Delta but Lagos but whatever we are doing can be replicated in the Niger Delta technology incubation centres.”

Amnesty Programme: 200 beneficiaries to be trained By PTI

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta with the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State, for the training of 200 beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the oil and gas sector in respect to the New Vision for Niger Delta.

According to The Eagle Online, The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, disclosed at the signing ceremony on Thursday that it signposts the beginning of an indelible move by the Federal Government towards attaining greater heights.

Prof. Dokubo said, “As far as the Presidential Amnesty Programme is concerned, signing this MOU is a clear path to enhancing the knowledge of our people and raising their lives so that they can walk tall and reach the heights of their potentials”.

“Let us make the best of this situation; so that our people will always remember us for good while being grateful to everyone, including the Federal Government that has not set us aside”.

“With time, we will disabuse the minds of our people so that they will know what they are living for.”

However, he urged Niger Delta people, particularly the youths, to fully embrace the Federal Government’s Developmental Programmes while assuring that the government will continue to maintain lasting peace in the Niger Delta, empower its youths and provide the requisite condition for the people besides giving the youth educational certificates.

Meanwhile, The Head, Vocational Training at the Amnesty Office, Amazuo Berepreboga, explained that the MoU will ensure the full training of 200 students at PTI in specialised fields in the oil and gas industry such as oil and gas drilling, instrumentation, mechanical technology, electrical technology and process technology.

Moreover, the Principal and Chief Executive of PTI, Prof. Sunny Iyuke in his remark, commended Prof. Dokubo and President Muhammadu Buhari for Federal Government’s support.

He said, “I thank my fellow Professor and the Amnesty Office for this gesture”.

“I came to PTI with the conviction that this is the right job I should be doing”.

“This is the kind of things I am looking for my students, to make me happy and satisfied.”

While bemoaning the high level of joblessness among Niger Delta youths, Prof. Iyuke said he hopes that the MOU will not only keep them away from crime but also engage them gainfully and improve their living standards.

He noted that the MoU will also push PTI students to improvement in practical application, especially knowledge of design of modular refineries, which has already paved the way for its legalization, resulting to an increase in establishment of modular refineries and flow stations in Nigeria.

FG okays $64m for Escravos power project

The Federal Government has approved $64m for the power project in Escravos communities in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The approval was granted at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.
According to Daily Trust, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, told State House correspondents that “We had approvals earlier to do the Escravos to Lagos Pipeline system. It was then stalled following protest by the community over the plan to move 50% of the gas to provide power to other areas, when the communities did not have power.
“Today Council approved $64m to fund two lots. One to build the power plant to supply power itself and the other distribute the power to all the affected communities.”
With the approval, he said power will now be provided to the communities within four or five years and become a permanent structure.
“The only way we had been able to maintain peace in the communities was to use generators to supply power which had been costing NNPC about N18m every month to manage,” he said.

FG inaugurates community projects in Cross River LGA

In keeping with its commitment to the welfare of the people at the grassroots, the Federal Government has inaugurated a community town hall and a solar-powered water project at Ishibori and Abakpa communities in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Inaugurating the projects on Thursday, the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to rendering services to the society without fear or favour. This was contained in a statement by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Speaking at the inauguration, Usani said, “This administration has not come to recompense evil for evil, every government has the responsibility to serve the society and we are doing so without any partisanship; that is why we are spreading projects in every community and various constituencies in the Niger Delta region according to their needs and availability of resources.”

The Minister added that government’s efforts in Ogoja land were not limited to the town hall and a solar-powered borehole being inaugurated alone, but that several other people-oriented projects were being handled by his Ministry, while many on-going internal roads being undertaken by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Ogoja Local Government Area would soon be completed and inaugurated accordingly, for the use of the people.

He called for the support of the people of Ogoja for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration which according to the Minister, “Had recorded a number of infrastructures for the people to see.”

The Minister charged the people of Ishibori and Abakpa communities, Ogoja land in general and the entire people of the Niger Delta region to remain law abiding citizens, urging them to make effective use of government’s projects in their localities and also ensure the security of the the facilities, so that government would be encouraged to do more.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Alhaji Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, represented by the Director Community Development and Education in the Ministry, Mrs Lauren Braide, noted that social welfare and community engagements were critical components of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the mandate of the Ministry.

He added that prime attention was given to the provision of community facilities due to their far-reaching impacts on citizens’ participation in governance.

Presenting the goodwill message on behalf of the Ntol Mgbeje Ama III and the people of Ishibori community, the Vice President of Ishibori Development Council (IDC), Chief Ale Ujum expressed the delight of the people in the quick intervention of the Federal Government to make the dream of the community town hall which had lingered for decades, into reality within one year.

“This project has given this community a facelift,” he reiterated.

Ogoni Clean-up: Why HYPREP matters

By Joseph Kpoobari Nafo

Recently a Non-Governmental Organization, Environmental Rights Action, ERA/Friends of the Earth Nigeria – through its Executive Director, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo – called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to scrap the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation, HYPREP. With all due respect, I am surprised that a learned person like the good doctor – an expert who is knowledgeable about the science behind environmental remediation/restoration processes – should come up with such a misplaced demand.

HYPREP is not averse to constructive criticisms that can add value. However, ERA and its boss know that the commencement point of a standard remediation exercise does not start with visually impressive, crowd-pleasing deployments of earth-moving equipment to sites. ERA knows that fairly lengthy and low-profile routine preparations – delineation and scoping, for example – need to be undertaken first. Or is ERA asking us to ignore best practices and do a substandard job for the long-suffering people of Ogoni, whose lands, swamps, surface and under-ground water have been massively polluted for decades? Does ERA not share our view that Ogoni people – whose health and livelihoods have been seriously damaged – deserve a modus operandi that will deliver sustainable results? In other words, ERA telling HYPREP to turn a blind eye to proper procedures and go straight to the actual clean-up is a disservice to the people of Ogoni whose welfare it claims to be concerned about.

The UNEP report was submitted to the Federal Government in 2011, but left unimplemented until 2016 when President, Muhammadu Buhari decided to put it on the front burner. And HYPREP has, since then, diligently and doggedly worked towards actualizing Mr. President’s vision for Ogoniland. If something is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well and HYPREP is carefully managing a complex and time-consuming process that cannot be concluded overnight.

Let me assure doubters that no day, week or month has been wasted – and that significant progress has been made – since HYPREP Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil, enthusiastically embraced this challenge.

We are currently at the scoping and delineation stage and have advertised for companies to do remediation, carry out health impact studies and provide potable water for impacted Ogoni communities, in accordance with the procurement law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We now have to wait for that process to tail out because we cannot afford to breach the law. Complying with extant laws should therefore not be seen as delaying the process or lacking capacity to drive the clean-up process, as ERA is alleging.

As for ERA’s insistence on a name change, let me paraphrase William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and ask, “what is in a name?” Does a rose not smell the same whatever you call it?  It is true that the UNEP report advised the Federal Government to establish an “Ogoni Environmental Restoration Authority.” But this nomenclature was just a suggestion and the Federal Government chose another equally appropriate name, HYPREP. At any rate, all that really matters is what the clean-up vehicle does and achieves; and ERA’s focus on name-changing is trivial and diverts attention from more important matters.

The pollution in Ogoniland is only a microcosm of the environmental devastation in the Niger Delta region and in the wisdom of the Federal Government an eventual success of the Ogoniland clean-up would be used as template for the remediation of the rest of the region and in that case an Ogoni Environmental Restoration Authority will not be appropriate at that point. The same reason the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC is not named after individual communities that produce oil but given a generic name after the region. ERA failed to explain to the world how a mere change of name will in itself fast-track the Ogoniland clean-up and thus its position is but a fallacy.

ERA also falsely claimed that the Federal Government was not “following the recommendation of the UNEP report” and did not have “the political will to commence the clean-up of Ogoniland.” But ERA’s claim lack merit.

It must be stated categorically that the Federal Government showed the needed political will to flag off the project in 2016 and followed it up with the setting-up of governing structures (Governing Council, Board of Trustees and the Project Coordination Office) to superintend the affairs of the project. In the same vein,  it also included the administrative cost of the project in the national budget for 2018?

The President personally inaugurated the Governing Council and the Board of Trustees. What other show of political will on the part of the Federal Government does ERA wants to see to believe that the administration of President Buhari is committed to the implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoniland?

Again, if ERA lacks “confidence in HYPREP”, its pessimism is not shared by all Ogoni people. On 3rd August, 2018, several Ogonis – from all walks of life – gathered at HYPREP’s second Stakeholders’ Forum in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which was televised live. Many pledged their support for the project and the process and only pleaded that local Ogoni contractors should be considered in the award of contracts. Land is scarce and precious in ogoniland and if communities willingly donate large portions to the project as they have done, then, there could be no further testimony of support and confidence in HYPREP than that. ERA’s submission is also not the position of the United Nations system (UNITAR, UNOPS, UN Environment, WHO) or the position of International Development Partners such as the Department for International Development, DFID that are closely cooperating with HYPREP.

ERA says “HYPREP cannot do the project because they lack the machinery and they do not have the capacity to drive it.” Is that not deliberate misinformation intended to discredit HYPREP or what is called “give a dog a bad name to hang him”? Is HYPREP expected to have the machinery to do the work or to award contracts to competent contractors with necessary technical know-how and the facilities to carry out remediation, health impact studies, livelihoods training and provision of potable water for impacted communities?

Now it is abundantly clear that ERA’s call for the disbandment of HYPREP is ill-conceived and anti-Ogoni.

ERA threatened that “CSO’s are planning protest against HYPREP.” But they miss the point. In implementing the project, the Federal Government adopted a multi-stakeholder approach where Ogoni community, International Oil Companies, Niger Delta Community, the nine Oil Producing States and Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, all have roles to play.

The Governing Council is chaired by the Honourable Minister of State for Environment, Mr. Ibrahim Usman Jibril, who has demonstrated capacity and competence in piloting the affairs of the project. Meanwhile, Chief Wale Edun, an accomplished financial expert, is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees; while the Ogoni community is represented on the Governing Council and Board of Trustees by Prof. Ben Naanen, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, His Royal Highness, Chief Bebe Okpabi, and Dr. Peter Medee.

Other distinguished members of the Governing Council include Prof. Roselyn Konya, the Rivers State Commissioner for Environment, Retired Permanent Secretary Dr. Timiebi Koripamo, Pamela Esiri, the National Security Advisor and the Ministers of State for Petroleum Resources, Budget and National Planning and Niger Delta Affairs.

Civil Society Organizations like ERA are also represented on the Governing Council and Board of Trustees by Barrister Anyakwe Nsirimovu and Nnimmo Bassey respectively. Shell is an active participant and UNEP plays an observer role. With a powerful team like this supporting HYPREP’s determination to forge ahead and fulfill the dreams of the Ogoni people, failure is not an option.

HYPREP remains focused on the clean-up of Ogoniland and will not be distracted by unfounded criticisms.

 

Fact sheet on the Ogoni Cleanup so far – HYPREP

The HYPREP Coordination Office, under the leadership of Dr. Marvin Dekil, the Project Coordinator, has carried out the following key activities so far:

  1. Sensitization and Awareness Campaign: In view of the readiness of commencement of physical cleanup of Ogoniland, there is a continued sensitization of Ogoni people across the four (4) LGAs on the Cleanup project and against re-pollution of cleanup sites, HYPREP has carried out broad-based initial sensitizations, including:

i. Community Sensitization

We are in constant engagement with local authorities such as Traditional Rulers, Youth Bodies, Women Leaders, Village Heads and Faith-Based Organisations to sensitize them on the project.

Community Leadership Sensitized

  1. Gokana LGA: Bodo, K-Dere, B-Dere, Kpor, Mogho, Bera,

Biara, Gbe

  1. Khana LGA: Kwawa, Buan, Kpean, Tera-ue, Kono, Bangha
  2. Tai LGA: Korokoro, Kpite, Ueken, Gio, Kebara-Kira, Botem,

Bara-Alue

  1. Eleme LGA: Ogale, Alode, Ebubu

ii. HYPREP is in the process of organising Town Hall meetings with all communities at the grassroot level.

 

2. Training of Technical Assistants

HYPREP has trained some Ogoni graduates educated in Environmental Sciences to develop capacity for the Cleanup project.

In May, 2017, a training was organized for the Technical Assistants to equip them with the technical skills for the remediation.

The second training which was on Oil Spill Clean-up and Remediation, also organized by HYPREP in collaboration with NDDC took place on 24th-25th and 28th May, 2018.

 

Workshops

From 18th-20th September, 2017, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in conjunction with HYPREP Coordination Office organised a three day Workshop for HYPREP Management.

The Project Coordination Office (PCO) and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) also organized a Joint HYPREP/SPDC Framing Workshop

An Induction Workshop on Project Management was also orgainsed for the HYPREP Management Team on the 24th , 25th and 28th of May, 2018

 

3. FIELD OPERATIONS

i. Demonstration of Remediation Technologies:

The Project Coordination Office (PCO) embarked on demonstration of technologies in some of the oil impacted areas in Ogoniland, namely Bodo, K-Dere, B-Dere, Korokoro, Kwawa, Nsisioken etc where interested companies showcased their remediation technologies at no cost to government. Soil and water samples were collected and analysed using different technology to determine the most suitable technologies that will be applied in the Cleanup exercise.

 

A total of 201 samples (163 soil and 38 water) have been collected and analysed from eleven (11) sites in this exercise across the four (4) L.G.A

ii. Delineation of Impacted Sites

Delineation and scoping of selected hydrocarbon impacted sites is on-going.

Twenty-Six (26) sites out of the Sixty-Four (64) investigated sites by UNEP across the four (4) Ogoni Local Government Areas have been earmarked.. This is in line with the recommendations contained in the UNEP fact sheets

The delineation activity is to establish lateral and vertical boundaries of contamination and extent of impact to develop current contamination profile of the sites.

 

4. Commencement of activities towards the implementation of UNEP recommendation on health study

The Project Coordination Office has carried out Medical Outreach Programmes aimed at collecting preliminary data towards the implementation of the UNEP recommendation on Health Study in the four (4) Local Government Areas of Ogoni comprising Tai, Eleme, Khana and Gokana. Medical services were also provided to the communities.

The outreach was carried out from 26th December 2017 to 3rd January 2018 and a follow-up from 14th April – 1st May 2018.

25,139 patients were treated including 365 surgeries.

5. Procurement activities

 The Project Coordination Office has carried out the following procurement activities:

i. Expression of Interest for Remediation of Impacted Sites

Prequalification has been concluded and companies prequalified are listed on our website www.hyprep.gov.ng

Technical and Financial bidding process to commence immediately

Remediation expected to commence by the 4th quarter, 2018 after the completion of all procurement processes

ii. Expression of Interest for Water and Health

Evaluation for the pre-qualification of companies that expressed interest on Water and Health is ongoing

6. Next phase

  •  Continuous Community Engagements/Sensitization
  • Delineation
  • Conclusion of Procurement Processes
  • Construction of new comprehensive water schemes and rehabilitation of existing ones
  • Livelihood Assessment/Implementation Plan
  • Detailed HEALTH Impact Assessment Study
  • Remediation of selected twenty six (26) sites identified in the 1st phase of the Cleanup exercise

 

 

Modular Refineries: FG secures N179.9BN loan from China

*Agreement to create 100,000 jobs

The Federal Government has secured a $500 million (about N179.9 billion) facility from the Export Import Bank of China (CEXIM) through the Bank of Industry (BOI) for the establishment of modular refineries and the Flare Gas Recovery Programme in Nigeria.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Beijing, BOI’s Managing Director, Mr Olukayode Pitan, emphasised the job creation potential of the partnership, according to Daily Trust.
He said, “I am delighted to begin the next chapter of a long-term trading relationship with China through CEXIM. “This agreement is set to create over 100,000 jobs in Nigeria’s Oil & Gas sector – a decisive move that will advance the Federal Government’s Modular Refineries and Flare Gas Recovery Programme,” he said. As part of the MoU between BOI and CEXIM, the facility will be utilized to finance the purchase of equipment and machinery from China by investors and project owners of modular refineries in Nigeria.
The BOI boss said the aim is to ensure availability of refined petroleum products within the country, monetize gas flare, reduce cost of products in the mid-term and provide employment for Nigerians. He said establishment of modular refineries is part of the FG’s plan to end importation of petroleum products and to discourage illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region. A total of 38 operating licenses have already been granted by the Federal Government to establish modular refineries in the Niger Delta.

#NDNewVsion: Participants laud workshops, Buhari administration’s commitment to develop region

The Niger Delta New Vision workshop, held in Warri, Delta State in August 2018, made Niger Delta CSOs more aware of the Federal Government’s New Vision for the Niger Delta. During the programme, I was glad to realize that the Federal government was ready to work with the Niger Delta CSOs and other stakeholders in the region to ensure that the vision is achieved this time around. I gained a lot from the sessions and got more information on the strides so far made in implementation of the New Vision, including the Maritime University, modular refineries, Ogoni clean-up, and the Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP) – Kadiri Blessing, Global Women for Quality and Sustainable Development (GWSD)

 

Workshop timely, Niger Delta New Vision website laudable

The Niger Delta New Vision workshop which held on the 27th of June 2018 in Abuja was a real eye-opener to me, especially regarding how the PANDEF 16-point agenda and the president 20-point agenda were tied together to bring about a lasting solution to the various challenges facing the Niger Delta Region. I have been on some socio-economic field survey based on some former environmental impact assessment projects I handled within the Niger Delta, I recall some of our project team members not being able to access a particular modular refinery project due to aggrieved youths of the community. Had I known about the SIWP then I would have been able to educate members of the public I engaged with in a better manner.

The timely SIWP workshop was vital to this, for instance, if one was to take complaints from the populace of the region as regarding “matters arising” proper feedback mechanisms has been duly provided by it. The Niger Delta New Vision website is a laudable achievement because it creates a third-party resource when engaging the populace and all arguments to be raised can be put in their right context through it. We at ANEEJ are very eager to participate in any capacity deemed fit as a CSO readily mandated to the current and future development of the Niger Delta region – Esiwo Awotu-Ukiri

 

FG New Vision commendable

The Niger Delta New Vision Workshop: made us to be aware and better enlightened of the project ‘New vision’ of Federal Government in the Niger Delta, made us discovered the need for proper coordination of all the activities in the New Vision that impact on our communities, gave us opportunities and prospects, available for Niger Delta citizens; and enlightened us on the existence of the Maritime University in the Niger Delta and when it became functional. It also shows that the roles of CSOs in Ondo State cannot be over emphasized as we have some CSOs working in the different thematic areas outlined in the SIWP – Ondo CSOs participants (Mrs Adetula M O, Akomolafe P & Mr Alo Martins)

 

SIWP key to development in region

I and my team wish to thank the organizers of the Niger Delta New Vision workshops. The workshop was very interactive, which profited all the participants enormously!  For us it was eye-opening and educative, because it covered important guidelines and techniques to present information on modular refineries and the Niger Delta New Vision and the Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP). The talk was very well organized and presented, crystal clear and with a good rhythm so as to not to fall asleep after lunch. I liked the fact that the speakers tried to get the audience involved by making it a discussion.

We really appreciate the insights that was provided, and the time you took following the sessions to provide additional feedback. I’ve already started talking up the workshop to my team members. I also admired the way the skilful way Mr. Arukaino Umukoro delivered his session on Niger Delta New Vision communication strategies. You almost casually offered different thoughts and alternatives, intuitively fishing through everything to find the key elements, recalling things said and the emotional emphasis expressed at the start of the process that I had already forgotten about. Thanks to you all – Dr Agboro Andrew, Executive Director, One Love Community Development (CDPPI), Warri, Delta State

Workshop an eye-opener

For those who had the perception that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was not doing enough for the Niger Delta region, the insights provided by the Niger Delta New Vision workshop in Warri, Delta State, in August, was an eye-opener for them, as some of the gains made were unveiled during the workshop. One startling moment at the workshop was when the current Vice Chancellor of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Prof. Maureen Etebu, presented a paper on the journey so far at the institution. This was an eye-opener for me and some other media personnel present.

It was really interesting to know that the present administration is showing its commitment to the environmental well-being of the Niger Delta region. This is clearly a departure from the past, where promises were made but not fulfilled. As a media professional, I am ready to partner with the government on the Niger Delta new vision towards a prosperous region by setting the agenda right in my reportage – Jahrock Uweje

Embrace peace, NDDC charges Niger Delta Youths

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has charged youths in Nigeria’s oil-producing communities to join in campaigning for peace and security in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking after receiving an award for excellence from the Niger Delta Youth Forum, the NDDC Director Corporate Affairs, Dr. Ibitoye Abosede, stated that development can only take place in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.

Abosede, who received leaders of the Youth Forum in his office at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, stressed the need to create the right environment for development to flourish.

He thanked the youth group for finding him worthy of the award of “Excellence in Good Leadership,” noting that all stakeholders should join in the effort to sanitize the Niger Delta to make it attractive to investors.

Abosede advised the youths to be focused so as to put their God-given talents to good use, adding that they should not be discouraged by temporary setbacks.

The Director stressed the importance of sensitizing youths in the Niger Delta on the dangers of militancy and other social vices, stating that violence begets violence.

He remarked that promoting awareness campaigns within the Niger Delta region remained a viable tool for development agencies that need peace and security to deliver on their mandates, adding that “as an interventionist agency, the NDDC needs the cooperation of all stakeholders to perform optimally.”

Abosede said that youths of the Niger Delta region have a crucial role to play in enthroning peace. He declared: “We don’t want protests and agitations in the Niger Delta anymore. Dialogue is the way to go.”

Earlier, the President of Niger Delta Youth Forum, Comrade Emmanuel Ekine, said that the body was organising awareness campaigns in the region to sensitize the youths on the need to shun violence and criminality.

Ekine said: “The youth forum has observed that restiveness; violent agitations and criminal tendencies are the prevalent challenges confronting the region.”

He commended the NDDC director, explaining that his nomination for recognition came after a careful consideration of his contributions to youth development, especially his outstanding leadership qualities and transparent service to the Niger Delta region.