By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN — Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, yesterday, said funds released to his Ministry were grossly inadequate for the development of the region, stressing the need for the Federal Government to use crude oil revenues to significantly fund the ministry’s projects and programmes to avoid fresh crisis in the region.
Orubebe, in a lecture titled The Challenge of Regional Development in Nigeria: Case of the Niger Delta, at the 7th Distinguished Faculty of Social Sciences Public Lecture, of University of Benin, lamented that despite its huge resources endowment, the Niger Delta region illustrates a paradox of poverty in the midst of abundant resources.
He said his Ministry was making steady progress in implementing a number of projects in the region, which include the East-West Road, as the Federal Government alone cannot fund developmental projects in the region.
He said: “To avoid a return to the pre-amnesty oil production level that resulted in militancy and youths restiveness, it is imperative to use crude oil revenues to significantly fund the ministry’s projects and programmes. It is important to sustain the existing peace and security in the region.”