N/Delta Does Not Reflect Level of Investment in the Region – NNPC
By Chibisi Ohakah and Kenechukwu Obiajuru
The managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has said that the situation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria today does not reflect the weight of the investments in the region.
The NNPC boss who spoke while receiving a delegation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja, said despite the heavy investments in infrastructure development and human capital development, Nigeria is still witnessing cases militancy and pipeline vandalism.
The NNPC boss recounted that the award of licences to investors to begin production on about 57 marginal oil fields within Niger Delta in 2022 was designed to support businesses that originated from the Niger Delta region because most of the beneficiaries from the marginal field programme were indigenes of the Niger Delta.
“As we speak today, we have seen a number of increasing incidents of unrest; cases that remind us of the past we don’t want to recollect again. Therefore, everything points to the fact that inclusion, support and empowerment for young people particularly in the Niger-Delta will bring peace and development to the Niger-Delta. No amount of resources available to you will give you peace except there is alignment with the respective players in the space,” Kyari told the PAP delegation.
Kyari commended the interim administrator of PAP, Col Dixon Dikio (Rtd) for the efforts of his Programme to ensure peace in the Niger Delta and emphasized the need to sustain the peace through accommodation and inclusiveness of Niger Delta youths.
In his remarks, the leader of the PAP delegation, Col Dikio (Rtd) bemoaned the inability of the oil industry to fulfill its obligations to the Niger Delta region over the years, saying that it was one of the reasons the amnesty Programme had prolonged.
He said working together would bring lasting peace to the region, explaining that the number of experienced technical people produced from the Programme, would easily fill employment opportunities. He explained that the strategy meeting is in line with the PAP’s objective to partner with all relevant stakeholders in order to achieve full implementation of the Programme.
He said PAP was courting willing partners to have a robust synergy to drive the Niger Delta Recovery Plan (NDRP) to fruition. Col. Dikio (rtd) noted that though PAP was executing its own role in reintegrating 30,000 Niger Delta ex-agitators, there was a need to strengthen partnership between sister agencies of the government for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.
He said the NNPC like other institutions of government had roles to play in oil assets redistribution, infrastructural development and environmental remediation. Dikio said that there was also need to control disruptions in oil production, adding that destructive energies could be channeled into productive ventures through re-orientation and sustained advocacy.
He said: “Once you create opportunities and investments return, more employment opportunities will come. I think it is a good thing that we work together, both the amnesty programme and all other actors in this space to bring the lasting peace to the Niger Delta and across our country, where people can benefit because ultimately if we cannot give, there will be nothing to show in another five to ten years, that is the reality that we are in.”