Our Next Target is Job Creation for Niger Deltans – Dokubo

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Prof. Charles Dokubo, has said that creation of job opportunities for Niger Deltans that have been trained under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, will be vigorously pursued this year.

According to a Vanguard report, Dokubo who is also Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), stated this during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja.

Dokubo categorically stated that priority would be given to creating jobs for the people of the Niger Delta to ease their burden and ensure that marginalization in the region becomes a thing of the past.

His statement, “Job placement is the next stage of my plan for this year and I believe that if we can achieve that, we are going to do well. The people of the Niger Delta will not cry their old cries again that they have been marginalized.”

“The amount of money government has spent on this programme is a lot and I know that if we judiciously expend it, most people from Niger Delta will benefit immensely. I want this programme to be a success, if not, our children yet unborn will keep asking us what we have done for them if we say we have fought for Niger Delta.

“This tale about being deprived should not be something we should keep saying. We have been given access. No part of Nigeria has more agencies than the Niger Delta. Now that we have these things, I implore the people of Niger Delta to know that the sky is their beginning if they will work when they are given a job” He said.

NDDC, EU to strengthen partnership on Sustainable Water Projects

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, says it will strengthen its collaboration with the European Union, EU, through the Niger Delta Support Programme, NDSP, to resuscitate abandoned water infrastructure across the nine Niger Delta states.

According to a statement by the Commission, the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, stated this when a delegation from the EU-funded NDSP3 pilot project paid him a courtesy visit on Tuesday at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He stressed the importance of institutionalising community-based management structure for the maintenance and sustainability of basic infrastructure in the Niger Delta region. He also harped on the need to develop a framework to ensure community ownership of water projects in the region.

Prof. Brambaifa commended the EU delegation for collaborating with the NDDC to ensure sustainability of water projects in the Niger Delta region, especially with the realisation that water was one of the basic needs of life.

He said, “We are looking forward to strengthening the collaboration with the EU, because water is life. We definitely need sustainable water projects because it is part of our mandate to bring potable water to the inhabitants of the Niger Delta region. It is one thing to organise a project like this, but it is another to ensure its sustainability. You don’t just start a water project and two months later you come to see that it had been vandalised.

“We are committed to this partnership with the EU to work out modalities to ensure that any water project we commission should be able to stand the test of time. We must find ways to safeguard our projects because it is one of our core mandates to bring sustainable development to the people of the Niger Delta.”

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer pledged to take the Niger Delta to the next level in line with the mantra of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

He called on the EU delegation to convince the international body to increase its financial commitment to the water project so as to help the region with safe drinking water that would address the challenges of water-borne diseases in the region.

The team leader of the NDSP, Albert Achten, told the NDDC boss that there was need to expedite action on the pilot project because its life span would terminate in May this year.

He, therefore, enjoined the partners to push for an effective and timely implementation of the EU and NDDC-NDSP3 pilot project.

Achten remarked that in the last two years a synergy had been developed between the EU-funded NDSP and the NDDC, stating that the key part of the synergy was the pilot project for reviving 45 abandoned water schemes in the nine Niger Delta states.

He recalled that the collaboration took off officially in November last year at a two-day Strategic Retreat for the Board and Management of the NDDC in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Further to that, he said that on February 2, 2019, the NDDC demonstrated its commitment to the project by writing to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning on the programme.

According to him, the project is up and running, as two very important tasks had been completed. He, however, stressed that time was running out since the contract between the EU and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning would end in the next few months.

He said: “We solicit the continued support of the NDDC for the project, especially as it concerns the release of funds. The NDSP part of the project is financed by the EU, but the logistics for some of the activities are expected to be taken care of by the NDDC.”

Collaboration will fast-track development in Ondo coastal areas, says NDDC

Community leaders and stakeholders across coastal communities of Ondo State have been urged to appeal to youths in the area to give room to development by embracing peace.

This was stated by the commissioner on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC), Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who made the call in Igbokoda headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Area of the state. He noted that community thrives in a peaceful atmosphere, according to the Tribune.

Speaking at the NDDC stakeholders meeting recently on peace building and community engagement in the Niger Delta region of the state, Aiyedatiwa said the goal of the commission in the area could not be realized unless the youths and other stakeholders cooperate with the commission.

The commissioner stressed the need for the collaboration or engagement among the NDDC, stakeholders and communities, in order to implement and deliver projects and programmes in coastal communities.

He noted that the NDDC was ready to empower the people of Ilaje and Ese- Odo local government area, however spoke on the need for a friendly environment and peaceful coexistence.

He, however, pointed that “despite the presence of NDDC in the region, as indicated by these various projects and programmes, community agitation, restiveness, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism has not ceased, but they are rather on the rise.

“The reason for this is not far- fetched. The people are asking for more and NDDC is very slow in delivering on projects and programmes”, He said.

Aiyedatiwa further said that despite challenges confronting the commission in the area, “NDDC has provided employment for indigenes of Ilaje and Ese Odo and Ese Odo, and other parts of the state.

Road construction, rehabilitation, jetties, walkways, waterways, electricity, health programmes and scholarship are various projects and programmes by NDDC in Ondo State. These are indications of the execution of its mandate in the region, “he said.

NDDC to begin construction of road in Abia

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has commenced the construction of the dilapidated Ubahu- Ihube- Okigwe expressway in Umunneochi local council of Abia State.

The 15-kilometre road being undertaken by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with a bridge will cost about N372 million and has nine months delivery time, the Guardian reports.

However, the Chairman/Managing Director of Free Flow Construction Company Ltd, Mr. Chidiebere Udeh, the contractor handling the project firm, promised to deliver in three months if the NDDC would fulfill its contractual obligations.

He said, “I am a son of this LGA and am poised to work round the clock including Sundays to deliver the work hence I urge the Commission to do the needful in accordance with the terms of the contract. You can see our healthy equipment and personnel are on ground and the communities are giving us all the cooperation and assistance”.

The flag-off of the construction of the dilapidated Ubahu- Ihube- Okigwe expressway was by large crowd of people from Ubahu Nneato rural community and adjoining ones in Umunneochi local council.

The traditional ruler of Onuogu Ogwe, further said, “we are elated to see the turning of our dilapidated rural road linking us directly to Enugu-Okigwe – Port Harcourt expressway into a tarred one in our life time”.

Oil theft: Navy hands over suspects, seven boats to JTF

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, on Friday handed six suspected oil thieves and seven loaded Cotonou boats over to the headquarters of the Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) for further investigations and prosecution.

According to the Nation, the Commander of the NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, while detailing the handing over exercise to journalists at the NNS Delta’s base in Warri, said that the suspects were arrested with products suspected to be illegally refined diesel, also known as AGO of an estimated quantity of 540,000 liters.

Commodore Dewu, who was represented by the Executive Officer (XO) of the NNSDelta, Navy Captain Adeyemi Adewuyi, said the suspects were arrested on Wednesday, 6th of March, 2019 and that the product was said to have been procured from Opudebubo Creek in Warri South-West council area of Delta state.

He seriously cautioned those involved in illegal activities in the maritime environment with the NNS Delta’s area of responsibility (AOR) to desist or face the law as the Nigerian Navy would not relent in its efforts to make the Niger Delta safe and fit for legitimate activities.

“This morning we are handing over seven Cotonou boats that were arrested on the 6th of March to appropriate security agencies. The boats were arrested at Opudebubo Creek in Warri South-West council area of Delta state. According to the suspects, they came all the way from Igbokoda in Ondo state to buy the products from the creek. They said they were taking the product to Igbonla in Okitipupa in the Igbokoda area of Ondo state.

“The quantity is estimated at 540,000 liters of AGO, illegally refined. We managed to arrest six suspects. The original number of the Cotonou boats was 8, however, one of them sank at the point of arrest, due to leakage. Investigation is still on and that’s why we are handing them over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for all other facts to come out.

Six of the seven loaded Cotonou boats at the jetty of the NNS Delta on Friday.

“I want to use this opportunity to warn all the criminals like pipeline vandals, to desist from their nefarious ways. Nigerian Navy will not relent in her efforts to stamp out criminality in the creeks of the Niger Delta”, he said.

However, when asked for his team’s mission in the area where they were arrested, one of the suspects, who identified himself as Odusola Irewole said he was a first timer in the illegal business, adding that he was pushed into it by lack of gainful employment.

“We came from Ondo state on the 6th of this month to buy diesel in Opudebubo Creek. I don’t know the seller because I’m just a worker in the boat. The owner of the business is Femi Jafo. He’s in Ondo state now. This is my first time because this boat is a new boat. I’m doing this job because there’s no job anywhere else, nothing to survive on. I didn’t know it was illegal, it is now that I’m getting to know”, the suspect said.

Ogoni Clean-Up: HYPREP, Rivers State Ministry partner to provide potable water for Ogoniland

The Rivers State Government has given approval to a request by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP to re-activate state water facilities in Ogoniland as part of effort to provide potable water for Ogoni communities.

In a statement from HYPREP, the Rivers State Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku gave the approval to HYPREP when the Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil led a team of Management Staff to his office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Speaking at the meeting, Dr. Dekil informed the Commissioner and his team that HYPREP was set up with the mandate to remediate Ogoniland and provide sustainable livelihood for the people in line with UNEP Report, adding that in fulfilling this mandate HYPREP has a responsibility to provide potable water in the impacted communities as specified in the report.

The Project Coordinator said the visit was also to request for collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development in the provision of water in the impacted communities.  He said the request to collaborate with the Ministry was necessary to avoid duplication of projects.

Dr. Dekil explained that in the process of providing water in the impacted communities, HYPREP would need to access the existing water facilities towards rehabilitating them and also install new ones, in both cases he said, the technical expertise of the professionals in the Ministry will be needed especially as the initial facilities were installed by them.

The Project Coordinator assured the Commissioner that HYPREP projects were not at variance with the water policy of the Ministry which is community driven adding that every project of HYPREP was tailored towards community participation and ownership to ensure sustainability.

Prof. Ebeku commended the HYPREP Coordinator, for seeking collaboration with the State Government saying it will eliminate duplication of projects which would have amounted to waste of Government resources.  He called on other government agencies and development partners to emulate the HYPREP approach to project implementation.

The Commissioner assured Dr. Dekil of his full support and that of his team to the collaboration and said he will do everything within his power to fast track the process from the Ministry’s end to ensure that potable water is available in Ogoniland for the benefit of the people.

At the end of the meeting, a Committee comprising experts from the State Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development and HYPREP was set up to work on the modalities for the collaboration towards the provision of potable water for the impacted communities in Ogoniland.