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NIGER DELTA TECHNICAL REPORT : Roadmap to peace

LOCAL GOVERNMENT/COMMUNITIES   SHOULD:
I. Discourage further establishment of new militant camps by organising enlightenment campaigns to sensitise community people about   DDR process ;
2. Commit to participate in the DDR process ;
3. Expose criminal elements and their sponsors within communities.

MILITANTS  SHOULD:
1.Support the DDR process by committing to enter and respect agreements reached.
2.Work with communities for genuine reconciliation to take root and demonstrate good faith in the DDR processes by giving up weapons in their possession and agreeing to fully re-integrate.

THE FEDERAL  GOVERNMENT  SHOULD:
*Establish the following institutions and mechanisms to support the implementation  of this Report. These include:
*National Minorities Commission to deal with the special issues of minorities and micro-minorities;
*A Niger Delta Special Infrastructure Intervention Fund to support the building of critical capital projects in the Region;
*A Multi-Stakeholder Niger Delta Policy and Project Compliance Monitoring Agency to monitor implementation of these recommendations and other programmes in the Niger Delta Region;
*A Niger Delta Futures Trust Fund and its community equivalent – the Community Trust Fund;
Carry out a comprehensive oil sector audit and correct the imbalance against the Region in matters of allocation of oil blocks, oil lifting contracts, and allocation of marginal fields;
Retain the NDDC but review the Act setting it up to make it less bureaucratic and less politically driven;
Immediately stop all forms of plea bargains and secret negotiations with those that have been indicted for looting the resources of the Niger Delta;
Undertake a human welfare and human misery audit in every state of the Region as a means of capturing and redressing all incidences of violence, deprivation, killing, kidnapping, rape and injustice in the Region.

President Yar'Adua
President Yar'Adua

GOVERNANCE  AND  RULE OF  LAW
The National Assembly should urgently facilitate and ensure the review of the following laws which are widely believed to have worked against the aspirations of the Niger Delta people: (See also the list of laws captured in Appendix 6)
These are:
*Section 44(3) of the 1999 Constitution;
*Territorial Waters Act, CapT.15LFN2004;
* The Exclusive Economic Zone Act Cap. E.17,LFN2004;
* Land Use Act, CapL.5,LFN2004;
*The Interpretation Act, 1964,Cap123,LFN2004;
* Oil PipelinesAct,Cap338, 1990;
*Petroleum Act, Cap P.10, LFN2004;
* Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act No. Cap N.47LFN2004;
*National Inland Waterways Authority Act Cap N.47,LFN2004;
*Item 39 on the Exclusive Legislative List of the 1999 Constitution;
*Lands(Title Vesting, etc.) Act CapL.7, LFN
2 004;
Also on matters of constitutional review, the Committee received widespread demands for the creation of new states and Local Government Areas and it believes that the immediate creation of some states in the Niger Delta will fast-forward the peace and reconciliation process, enhance infrastructural development and correct historical neglect of certain areas.

Accordingly, the Committee recommends that the National Assembly should urgently act on these requests and consider the creation of these states and local government areas as matters of urgent constitutional importance.
This will correct historical neglect of these areas, break the circle of isolation and underdevelopment, reduce ethnic tensions arising from feelings of official insensitivity and satisfy demands of the majority of communities and interests in these areas.

NIGER DELTA STATE GOVERNMENTS  SHOULD:
Create State Oil Producing Area Development Commissions through which 50% of the derivation revenue accruing to each state would be allocated to develop the oil producing and impacted communities.
In view of the failings and weaknesses of the current Local Governments, their inability to deliver effective services to the people, limited accountability and disconnection from the people, the Local Government laws should be amended to:
* Create Village Governance Committee (VGC) which would become the fourth tier of government to which local government structures must be accountable.
*Institutionalize a community budgeting process that allows registered community associations and local public groups the opportunity to participate in planning their own development.
*Stipulate that Chairmen of Local Government Areas (LGA) should reside for a minimum of three years in their Local Government Area before presenting themselves for election and cessation of such residency after being elected should be an impeccable offence.
*Contain provisions that make traditional institutions more relevant to their communities and to promote peace-building and development from below.
*Set up structures for monitoring the utilization/deployment of monies allocated to the local governments: these include establishment of websites, interparty budget monitoring committees, and publication of annual budgets as well as statements of account.
– Ensure that all governors in the region shall on a rotational basis, begin to hold monthly town-hall meetings in Local Government Areas.
– Establish a forum for governors of the Niger Delta States to meet every quarter to review developments, inter-state relations, regional projects, relations with the Federal Government, and pursue processes of democratic consolidation.

MEDIUM TERM 2009-2013
States should pursue constitutional democracy by undertaking a process of state constitution making which will be people-centered and value-driven and this shall be without prejudice to the supremacy of the national constitution of Nigeria.

Encourage tertiary institutions in the Niger Delta States to establish Centres of Leadership and Public Policy to train new leaders and produce experts and specialists in policy development and analysis.
Include in primary and secondary school curricula, political education and leadership training development and programmes that emphasize accountability, transparency, respect for rights of citizens, political discipline.

LONG TERM 2013-Vision 2020
Apply as a matter of policy and procedure affirmative action principles in favour of women, youths and disadvantaged persons such that their representation in society, workplace, politics and public life institutions are equitably representative and reasonably guaranteed.

A cross section of Niger Delta militants, affiliated to Tompolo, who embraced the Federal Government's amnesty programme and surrendered their arms in Arogbo town in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, yesterday
A cross section of Niger Delta militants, affiliated to Tompolo, who embraced the Federal Government's amnesty programme and surrendered their arms in Arogbo town in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, yesterday

Adertise all employment opportunities, contracts and public activities at state and local levels of government and ensure that they show commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action.

SHORT TERM 2008-2010
Local Governments should:
Commit in every budget year, a monthly minimum of N1 million to every political ward in the region for the funding of small development projects which impact at the village level and is managed by Village Governance Committee (VGC).
Set up structures for monitoring funds allocated to the VGC to ensure the realization of project goals.

Establish a comprehensive database of every community and traditional institutions within Local Government Areas and use the database to facilitate equitable, integrated holistic grassroots development in communities.

MEDIUM TERM 2009-2013
Utilize all possible community mechanism to mobilise people to participate in the National Constitutional review process, with a view to building a bottom up support for State and Local government creation and other issues of importance to the region.

SHORT TERM 2009-2013
COMMUNITIES AND CSOs SHOULD:
Organise the Village Governance Committees (VGC) to become credible vehicles for development in communities and administering ward projects.

Establish through the Village Governance Committee (VGC), a strong Civil Society Joint Monitoring Group to meet monthly and assess development projects at the ward level, hold office bearers accountable as well as address outstanding matters of community relations with oil and gas companies.

Existing Institutions and Stakeholders
REFOCUS: Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
As an adjunct to the Compact, the Committee recommends that ALL OUTSTANDING FUNDS due to NDDC be paid IMMEDIATELY as these are legitimate amounts due to the Region.

To ensure better performance of its duties, the Committee recommends that:
i. The NDDC should carry out a full audit of staff, projects, partners, and resource commitments and  ascertain their viability.
ii. Focus EXCLUSIVELY on major or mega infrastructural projects in the Niger Delta such as constructing, mega inter-State roads as well as ensuring that water ways that link the East and Western axises of the Niger Delta Region are well developed and operational.
iii.   Establish regional mechanisms for over-seeing how budgeting, prioritization, implementation and evaluation of regional projects are carried out.
iv.  Accelerate the process of re-constituting itself into an agency working with credible international institutions and within acceptable international code of practice to address the mega infrastructure needs of the Region.

STRUCTURE
The Committee is of the view that the new Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs should not become another huge bureaucracy bogged down with contract awards at the expense of visible and relevant deliverables to the people of the Region and to Nigerians at large. The ministry should therefore:
i.  Have adequate capacity and facilities for training and skill acquisition for staff and ensure that those employed are mostly experts.
ii.   Buy into the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to ensure accountability by oil companies and the implementation of NEITI reports.
iii Support oil  producing and impacted communities in their negotiations with oil and gas companies  toward fair and acceptable Memorandum Of Understandings (MOU).
iv.  Have a strong environmental monitoring/protection unit to monitor the activities of oil /gas companies as well as address issues of environmental degradation.
v. Avoid competition and duplication of roles with NDDC and state governments and focus on capital and transformational projects.

Private Sector
* Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with other critical stakeholders to build the infrastructural base of the Region and explore strategies such as Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission and Lekki Road Concession to fund the projects.
* Public-Private-Community-Oil Company Operator-Partnership (P-P-C-0-P) model of Decentralized Electrification (DE) otherwise known as Off-Grid electrification in one oil producing community each in the 9 Niger Delta States using the World Bank-sponsored Burutu Community model
* Facilitated Regional meetings involving the World Bank and International Development Agencies (IDA) on relevant policy, legal, institutional and capacity needs for the establishment of an infrastructure concession driven by Public Private Partnership (PPP) regimes.
*Various models of workable Private-Public Partnership (PPP) arrangements for infrastructure development of the difficult riverine terrains of the Niger Delta.
* Commit to affirmative action in the employment of Niger Delta Indigence and partner with states and local Governments on Youth Employment Generation and Empowerment schemes.

Oil Companies
*  Within a clear timeline of 2 years, to expand their energy and water facilities with in flow stations or other operational bases or Independent Power Projects (I PP) to connect host and adjoining communities within not less than 15km radius as a matter of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
* Clean up oil-polluted environments found in Niger Delta States. Contribute to the Special Niger Delta Infrastructural

Intervention Fund.
* Pay adequate compensation at current market rates for community lands affected by oil exploitation.
* End the practice of casualization of labour which has bred other forms of economic sabotage against oil installations.
* Give preferential treatment to persons of Niger Delta origin in employment and award of contract.

Pay royalty into Community Trust Funds for oil- bearing communities.
* End gas flaring by December 2008 as previously agreed.
* Document as recommended by NEITI and in a transparent way, processes of selling crude oil and reduce opportunities for corporate practices in the oil/gas sector to depart from laid down procedures in relation to the lifting of Government crude.
Work closely with government and Civil Society Organizations to expose vessels found to have international sanctions.

SHORT TERM 2008-2010
Developing international protocols that will identify and classify those engaged in the criminal trade in stolen oil (also known as blood oil) and develop mechanism for their prosecution at the International Criminal Court of Justice.
Supporting Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to respond to outcomes of NEITI’s country assessment.
Developing with CSOs, programmes to disseminate the annual NEITI follow-up with reforms and demand better governance standards by the oil/gas companies ope rating in Nigeria.

MEDIUM TERM 2009-2013
– Exploring ways in which communities can prevent oil thefts locally and demand stiff penalties including return of monies.

TOMORROW…
THE crisis in the Niger Delta is also linked to the absence of fiscal and physical development. Although the Federal government has created some interventionist agencies to respond to the infrastructural needs of the region, a lot more, in terms of basic infrastructure, economic policies and programmes, and environmental management frameworks which sustain economic and social development in the region need to take place.


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