By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa — The Federal Government has reiterated its preparedness to pull the Niger Delta out underdevelopment by deploying more resources towards its development.
The Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, in an address delivered at the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum 2010 in Yenagoa, also restated government’s commitment to new oil production and capacity building in the region.
According to her, the Local Content policy initiative of the government has opened new frontier of business in the region.
Represented by her Technical Adviser, Dr. Emmanuel Denenu, the Petroleum Minister lauded the youths of the region for embracing the Federal Government’s amnesty programme, which has brought about peace in the region.
The development, she noted, has led to the influx of local and foreign investors into the region with the locals reaping the multiplier effect.
The Minister, who described the amnesty programme as means to peaceful resolution of conflicts, said the youths in the region have demonstrated their loyalty and support for the present administration in the country.
On the Local Content Bill, which was recently passed by the National Assembly, Mrs. Allison Madueke noted with delight that it has opened a new frontier of business in the country with reference to marine building and shipyard.
The passage of the bill she added would accelerate the active participation of the people especially those from the oil producing areas in the oil and gas sector of the economy as well as ensure the linkage of the sector to the other sectors of the economy such as the maritime and banking and finance sectors of the economy.
In his remarks, Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva said it was sadden to note that since the discovery of the oil in the region over five decades ago, the locals were yet to feel the impact of the industry.
He however commended the federal government local content initiative saying the people could now enjoy the benefits of the industry given the type of the programme being facilitated by the Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board, (NCDMB).
“I assure you that the peace has come to Bayelsa. We are ready for business. We are ready for the oil industry. With the partnership and cooperation, we are moving to the golden age of oil production in Nigeria,” an elated Sylva said while declaring open the forum.