Port Harcourt – The United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of African Affairs, Miss Cynthia Akuetteh, says Nigeria has received almost 42 million dollars from the US global hunger and food security Initiative.
Akuetteh made the remark on Tuesday in Port Harcourt at the UN- Nigeria Bi-National Commission (BNC) programme.
She said that a portion of the grant had been used to improve food security and livelihood in the Niger Delta.
“This support has improved aqua culture, rice and cassava- based livelihoods and helped care-givers of orphans and vulnerable populations generate more sustainable income.”
She said that since 2006, the United States had provided over 35 million dollars worth of equipment which included automatic identification system, radars, defender class boats to Nigeria and other West African countries.
The US Deputy Assistant Secretary said that convening the BNC Niger Delta working Group in Port Harcourt was an unprecedented demonstration of the United States commitment to stability in the Niger Delta.
“We believe if we can help the Delta chart a secure, prosperous and environmentally sustainable course, then the region’s success will be Nigeria’s success as well.“
Akuetteh said it was for that reason that US was committed to helping Nigeria to maintain the momentum of the 2009 Amnesty programme to secure lasting peace in the Delta.
“Over the next two days, we hope we can openly and candidly discuss the challenges of the Delta and ways the United States can help the region fulfil its potential.”
Akuetteh identified three major problems of the Niger Delta as underdevelopment, environmental devastation and maritime criminality.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Martin Uhomoibhi, who is also the Head of the Foreign Delegation, decried problems arising from oil exploration in the region.
He, however, said the level of restiveness in the Niger Delta was low, compared to a few years ago.
Uhomoibhi noted that collaboration between the Federal Government and the United States would build “a Niger Delta of our dream.” ( NAN)