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“Our Govt remains focused on economic growth, development of Niger Delta”

*As FG, partners launch initiative to train 2,500 beneficiaries of Amnesty Programme

 

The Federal Government under the Buhari administration will continue to support initiatives aimed at improving the lives and well-being of Nigerians in the Niger Delta, and contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

This was stated on Friday by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, during the launch of Africa Atlantic Gulf of Guinea Fisheries Limited, an initiative by the Presidential Amnesty Programme and private sector partners to train 2,500 beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.

During the event, which held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, it was noted that the initiative, which would train about 2,500 beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in fishing techniques and the fishery value chain, is also designed to also build 100 fishing trawlers in Nigeria.

The initiative is a Private Public Partnership between the Presidential Amnesty Programme, on behalf of the Federal Government, and private sector partners ,which include Concept Amadeus and a number of Greek technical partners.

“Today’s ceremony is especially gladdening because not only does it advance the goals of the ERGP, it also brings together in one initiative several of our economic development priorities: Ease of Doing Business, Jobs, Young People, the Niger Delta, and Agriculture and Food Security,” noted Osinbajo, who was represented at the event by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Matters, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Edobor Iyamu, who delivered the VP’s remarks.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta matters (office of the vice president) Mr. Edobor Iyamu at the launching of the Atlantic Gulf of Guinea Fisheries Limited today the 24th of May 2019 at the state house auditorium Abuja, stated that the Land mark initiative is aimed at improving the lives and well being of Niger Deltans.

Iyamu (2nd from right) represented the VP at the event

Osinbajo said “in the last four years, the Buhari administration, has its focus on reviving the Nigerian economy and repositioning it for true inclusive and diversified growth”.

The Vice President stated that the Buhari administration, in the last four years, has focused on reviving the Nigerian economy and repositioning it for true, inclusive and diversified growth.

“You will all recall the situation we inherited in 2015, and the economic recession that shortly followed, which led to the development of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). I am delighted to note that two years on, the ERGP has greatly justified its existence.

“Nigeria emerged from the recession in the second quarter of 2017, and since then has enjoyed eight consecutive quarters of growth. And just last week the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics released data that showed the healthiest first Quarter growth since 2015. Inflation is down, and manufacturing confidence has consistently been on the rise for more than two years,” he said.

Prof. Osinbajo emphasized that the Buhari administration remains fully committed to the development of the Niger Delta region through its Niger Delta New Vision.

He said, “For too long the people of the Niger Delta have had to endure failed promises and neglected aspirations. The jinx that attended the Ogoni Clean Up until recently is a very telling example of this. Years after the UNEP Report, there appeared to be little or no political will or determination to implement the recommendations, until the Buhari Administration emerged.

“From the start we have left no one in doubt as to our commitment to set the ball rolling. I am delighted that, after two and half years of painstaking preparation and putting in place the proper governance and accountability frameworks, the much-awaited remediation of Ogoniland has finally commenced.

“It is, of course, a long term task, and it is important for us as stakeholders to keep this in mind and not expect any overnight successes. It is also important that we continue to join hands to ensure that the progress we are seeing is not slowed or rolled back in any way.”

While commending the Presidential Amnesty Programme, and the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, for the hard work put into the successful implementation of the Project, he reiterated the support and commitment of the Federal Government to the success of the project.

He added, “Nigeria is a country blessed with immense agricultural resources and potential. Much of that potential has hitherto remained unexploited, and we are very determined to change this. For this reason, this initiative is very much welcome, as it will significantly scale up our domestic fish production and build capacity and value within the fishing industry. It will also produce substantial savings in foreign exchange, considering how much we currently spend annually on the importation of fish.

“It is interesting to note that this initiative is actually one of the earliest success stories of our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs, which we set up in 2018 to resolve the most urgent bottlenecks hindering the progress of business and investment in Nigeria.”

Others dignitaries at the event include the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, the Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, amongst others.

$500m modular refinery to be established in Ondo

The Ondo State government has partnered with a firm, Crown Refinery and Petrochemical Limited, to establish a modular refinery in the coastal area of the state.

According to the PUNCH, the state would reportedly provide only the land while the company will provide the equipment and the personnel, some of whom would be employed from the state.

The proposed initial design capacity of the modular refinery is about 30,000 barrels per stream day, which is expected to be completed within 36 months. This can be scaled to 60,000 bpsd, the Chief Executive Officer, Crown Refinery and Petrochemical, Mr Kassim Adeleke, stated.

Giving more details to journalists about the project, Adeleke, who led the team to the governor’s office, said $500m would be spent at the initial stage, saying the money would be sourced from the development partners of the company.

Recently, the state government and the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the multimillion-dollar project proposed to be sited in Ugbonla and Ogboti coastal towns in the Ilaje Local Government Area of the state.

It was learnt that the project would foster the development of the area and consequently boost the economy of the state, as it was projected to employ over 2,000 people, both directly and indirectly.

This is in line with the Niger Delta New Vision of the Buhari administration for the establishment of modular refineries in the region to spur development and provide more employment opportunities for youths in the region.

The PUNCH reports that the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, while receiving the MoU from the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Sunday Abegunde, who had earlier signed the document with the representatives of the company, expressed delight over the development and pledged the support for the project.

He said, “Ondo State is safe for investors; we will do everything to ensure that this project is successful. Ondo State is strategically positioned among the Niger Delta States and Lagos State, which is the nation’s economic nerve centre, to make all business-minded investors reap bountifully from their investments in the state.”

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, Crown Refinery and Petrochemical, who led the team to the governor’s office, Mr Kassim Adeleke, said the company’s core business is to refine crude oil into petroleum products.

He explained that the refinery would be designed to process both imported paraffin and Nigerian crude into petroleum products, oils and lubricants.

Adeleke said, “We are going into the business of refining crude oil. The government of Ondo State would provide the enabling environment and incentives to support us as we actualise this vital investment. Apart from the project having the capacity to refine crude oil, it will also be producing 120,000 tonnes of base oil and 25,000 tonnes of lubrication oil on a yearly basis.

“The company will also be providing several infrastructural projects in the states and would create about 2,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities for indigenes of the state. It would also give scholarship to indigent students in the host communities.”

He said in Ondo State, he found professionalism, swift decision making, friendly communities and passion, such that in less than one year of opening talks with the state government, the company was set to commence the project.

In line with the Niger Delta New Vision plan of the Federal Government, four modular refineries, which are at different stages of completion, have so far been established in the region. They include: the NDPR Modular Refinery, Ogbele, Rivers State; OPAC Modular Refinery, Delta State; Ikwe-Onna modular refinery, Akwa-Ibom State; and the Walter Smith refinery, in Imo State.