Niger Delta: US Consulate, NDDC Strategize for Sustainable Development

The United States Consulate in Nigeria says it continues to discuss and work with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to strengthen collaboration on strategies to improve peace and security to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the NDDC management at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Political and Economic Consul, Mr Osman Tat, who represented the United States Consul General in Lagos, F. John Bray, said one of the primary goals of the US mission was to support Nigeria’s economic development.

The American delegation had earlier held a strategy meeting with the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere and the Chairman of the Commission’s Governing Board, Senator Victor Ndoma- Egba (SAN), on plans to drive the regional development process.

The US envoy explained that the meeting with the NDDC leadership was part of the regular consultations undertaken by the US Consulate in Lagos and the Embassy in Abuja. According to him, the Consulate recognised the fact that NDDC had a large number of projects spread across the nine states of the oil-producing region of Nigeria.

Osman Tat observed that it was important to consult with the Board and Management of NDDC in order to get a sense of how the projects were being executed to develop the region

He said: “We have looked at several projects being executed by the NDDC and the ones they intend to undertake in the future.

“We have had a fruitful discussion with the NDDC on projects implementation and we are interested in seeing that the projects and development activities are well executed for the benefit of the people of the Niger Delta.”

Osman Tat affirmed that NDDC was at the nexus of development, adding that its projects cut across different sectors ranging from healthcare to education and infrastructure. He said that the projects were necessary to ensure peace and security in the Niger Delta.

The diplomat stated the interest of the United States in seeing a free, fair, transparent and non-violent election in Nigeria in 2019.

In his remarks, the NDDC Chairman, Senator Ndoma-Egba said that the NDDC was at the heart of the Niger Delta, noting that the Commission had the solemn mandate to develop the region by engaging key stakeholders.

Senator Ndoma-Egba emphasised the need for an enduring peace in the Niger Delta region, stating that security was critical for development and growth.

He said that the NDDC, being an interventionist agency had little or no role to play in partisan politics. “We are only interested in ensuring that there is a peaceful atmosphere in the Niger Delta region. And the only way we can achieve that is by bringing projects and development to the region,” he said.

Meet the new coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo

The Presidential Amnesty Programme of the Buhari administration has recorded successes in maintaining peace, security and stability in the Niger Delta region.

 The Amnesty Programme remains one of the cardinal points of the Buhari­­ administration’s Niger Delta New Vision to bring succour to the people of Niger Delta and eliminate youth’s restiveness. The programme has continued to engage ex-militants and youths from the impacted communities in formal education, vocational skills acquisition and empowerment schemes.

On Tuesday, Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as the new coordinator of the Amnesty Programme. Prof. Dokubo replaces Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd).

Boroh, who also doubled as the Senior Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, was sacked by President Buhari on Tuesday. This was confirmed in a statement signed by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

 Here are some facts about the new Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme; Prof. Charles Dokubo.

 1. Prof Dokubo specializes in nuclear proliferation, conflict resolution and other areas related to strategic analysis.

 2. He was born in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government of Rivers state on the 23rd of March, 1952. He had his early years in Abonnema where he acquired his primary and secondary education.

3. He then proceeded to the United Kingdom, to obtain his ‘A’ Levels from Huddersfield Technical College in West Yorkshire.

4. Prof. Dokubo also studied at the University of Teeside at Middlesbrough, UK, where he was awarded with a B. A. (Hons) in Modern History and Politics.

5. He holds a Master’s Degree in Peace Studies and a PhD in Strategic Studies from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, where he also lectured before returning to Nigeria in 1993.

6. Prof. Dokubo was a member of the technical assistant team of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) to the 1997 elections in Liberia, where he supervised voters’ registration.

7. He has been a member of several inter-ministerial committees in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and helped in the policy making process on AFRICOM and the Gulf of Guinea.

8. Prof. Dokubo has authored and edited several scholarly books and journal articles including; the Nigerian Air Force in a Changing Security Environment (2008). His recent publication is the Defence Policy of Nigeria: Capability and Contest.

9. Prior to his appointment as the new coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Dokubo was Director of Research and Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs where he has worked since August, 1994.

 

 

 

Fact Sheet on Buhari Administration’s Niger Delta New Vision

The Buhari administration, in line with its New Vision for the Niger Delta (#NDNewVision), is working hard to ensure that the people of the region benefit maximally from the wealth of their land.

So far, the Buhari administration has also taken actions to underscore its commitment to the people of the region.

These include:

  • Increased Budgetary Allocation to Niger Delta Ministry and NDDC
  • Take-off of Maritime University in Delta State
  • Commencement of Ogoni Clean-up
  • Investments in Infrastructure: Bonny-Bodo Road and Ibaka Deep Sea Port
  • Approval for establishment of Export Processing Zone in Delta State
  • Approval for establishment of Modular Refineries
  • Presidential Amnesty Programme

INCREASED BUDGETARY ALLOCATION:

  • N71.20 billion allocated in the 2018 Budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission
  • N53.89 billion allocated in the 2018 Budget for the Ministry of Niger Delta, up from the N34.20 billion provided in 2017

 

MARITIME UNIVERSITY, DELTA STATE:

  • The new Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, has now commenced operations, inviting job applications for academic staff.
  • President Muhammadu Buhari administration recently approved an increase in the take-off grant from the N2bn earlier announced to N5bn. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly earlier this week, under the Federal Ministry of Education allocation.
  • Academic activities are expected to start in the University soon following the completion of the hiring process for professors, readers, senior lecturers, lecturers, assistant, assistant lecturers and graduate assistants to teach in the faculties of Science, Maritime Transportation, Maritime Engineering and Technology, Maritime Environmental Management and General Studies.
  • The take-off of the Maritime University was one of the major requests tabled before the Federal Government when the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, went on a series of tour to all the Niger Delta states during the year, following President Buhari’s meeting with leaders of Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) last November.

OGONI CLEAN-UP: 

  • In June 2016, the Buhari administration started the implementation of the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland devastated by decades of oil spills.
  • An Inter-Ministerial committee on Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) (under the Federal Ministry of Environment) was established.
  • HYPREP has since set up structures in place for the final take off of clean-up and restoration of the region devastated by oil spills. This shows the commitment of the FG to restore the region.
  • 8 Companies engaged to conduct Demonstration Clean-up Exercises in the 4 Local Government Areas of Ogoni Land, to enable HYPREP select the best and most suitable technology for the remediation work. These Demonstrations were recently concluded; the results are being studied by the Governing Council of the Ogoni Clean-up Project.
  • HYPREP has also trained 15 indigenous Ogoni scientists on environmental assessment remediation.
  • HYPREP assessed existing water facilities in Ogoni land in line with the UNEP recommendation report that potable water be provided for Ogoni following pollution of water sources in region by oil spills.
  • Health impact assessment study to be done to ascertain whether there is a link between some disease patterns and oil pollution in the affected communities.
  • Bids have been invited for consultancy on provision of water, health study and environmental remediation.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

Investment in Ibaka Deep Sea Port: 

  • The Federal Government has budgeted N1 billion towards the development of Ibaka seaport in Akwa Ibom.

Investment in Bonny-Bodo Road Project:

  • The N120 billion Bonny-Bodo road project was flagged-off in October 2017 by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. The 34-kilometre road project, linking Bonny Island to the mainland was first mooted about 40 years ago.
  • The Bonny-Bodo bridge and road project is a Public Private Partnership arrangement jointly funded by Nigeria LNG and the Federal Government, in which the Federal Government and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (NLNG) will each bear 50 percent of the N120.6 billion that it will cost to complete the project.
  • When completed, the 34-kilometres road would connect several major communities in the Niger Delta region and boost socio-economic development and improve the lives of people in the Niger Delta region.

 

EXPORT PROCESSING ZONE (EPZ):

  • The Federal Government approved the establishment of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) comprising the Gas City Project at Ogidigben, and the Deep Seaport in Gbaramatu, Warri South-West local government area, Delta State.
  • When fully operational, these projects are expected to boost socio-economic activities and improve the security landscape of the Niger Delta region.

 

MODULAR REFINERIES:

  • The objectives of establishing modular refineries in the Niger Delta region include the following: to create a robust domestic refining sector necessary to meet and exceed the full capacity of national demand, address the proliferation of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta, and attendant environmental degradation, and to provide jobs for unemployed youths in the region.
  • 13 out of 35 applications have reached what is known as the LTC (License to Construct) stage.
  • Two out of these 13 refineries are almost ready for shipment. Consideration for Customs duty waiver and some form of tax holiday also underway.
  • Government is also working with Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF), Bank of Industry (BOI), AfrExim Bank, and Nigerian Content Development Management Board to address the issue of lack of financial capacity on the part of the local partners (Local partners are expected to come up with a minimum of 15% of cost as counterpart funding).

 

PRESIDENTIAL AMNESTY PROGRAMME (PAP):

  • The Presidential Amnesty Programme engages ex-militants and youths from the impacted communities in formal education, vocational skills acquisition and empowerment schemes.
  • The 2018 budgetary allocation for the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme is N65 billion.
  • 21,615 beneficiaries have so far been trained, out of which 4,079 have been empowered.
  • PAP has empowered 4,079 ex-militants through the establishment of businesses such as agriculture (cluster farms). 3,237 ex-militants are in various stages of Vocational Training and University Scholarship Programmes.
  • The Amnesty Office has initiated the training of 10,000 beneficiaries in modern agriculture and established them into 10,000-hectare cluster farms in the nine (9) Niger Delta States.
  • PAP modern agricultural schemes are projected to create 80,000 new jobs in three years