According to the governors in the communiquÃ© signed the Senator Liyel Imoke (Cross River State), Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta State ) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (Edo State) and Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State), the Forum of the South- South Governors met in Asaba – Delta State on the 23rd of July, 2009 to deliberate on issues of common interest and to strengthen the collaborative approach to development adopted by the governors of the region. At the meeting the forum deliberated and arrived at the following decisionsâ€:
*The Governorsâ€™ forum noted the Reforms in the Petroleum Sector especially the Petroleum Industry Bill currently under consideration by the National Assembly.
The forum acknowledged the general intention of the Bill to streamline the legal and regulatory framework for the Petroleum Industry. The forum however noted:
â€¢The absence of any specific allocation of resources, royalties or proceeds from oil exploration for the benefit of oil producing communities and oil producing states.
â€¢ Movement of the University of Petroleum Technology from Etfurun to
Kaduna and call for the reversal of the decision.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â The lack of a definite post amnesty plan for the region. It is absolutely
necessary for the Federal Government to present a sustainable solution to the injustice visited on the region.
â€¢ Expresses disgust at the â€œanti-Oil Producing Statesâ€ posturing of the
Minister for Petroleum, Alhaji (Dr.) Rilwanu Lukman.
â€¢ The Governorsâ€™ forum may, therefore, withdraw from participation in the
current amnesty arrangement if these issues are not addressed.
* Other resolutions by the Forum are:
â€¢Â The establishment of a South_South Economic Growth Council to ensure that the road map for economic integration of the region is developed and implemented.
â€¢ The Establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund where South-South States will invest portions of their revenue to be managed by an international financial institution attracting investment from around the world. The fund will be invested primarily in the South-South Region to develop viable business and economic ventures in partnership with the Private Sector.
â€¢ Renewed commitment to the development of Lagos- Calabar rail link to loop through the entire South_South region. To this end, the forum commissioned studies on the project viability or implementation under the PPP model.
The forum believes that the Federal Government at the appropriate time will commit funds into this vital infrastructure.
â€¢Â The establishment of a full time secretariat to drive the implementation of the decisions reached during the South-South Economic Summit andÂ Â subsequent meetings of the South-South Governorsâ€™ Forum.
Delta students protest FGâ€™s downgrade of PTI, Warri
THERE was pandemonium yesterday in Warri, Delta State , as students of higher institutions who were protesting the reversal of the upgrade of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, near Warri to a University status by the Federal Government barricaded the East-West Road at Effurun roundabout, thereby, disrupting traffic for two hours..
National president of the National Association of Delta State Students, Benedict Oboidhe who led the protest said the students were incensed by the downgrading of PTI, Warri by the government and the arrogant comments of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Riwalnu Lukman that the same government was going ahead with the upgrade of the PTI, Kaduna, and there was nothing anybody could do about it.
â€œWe, Delta state and Niger-Delta students feel highly annoyed that somebody can just sit down in Abuja and make such a statement about a region that produces the bulk of the wealth that feeds the nation, telling us that the school that will train senior-level manpower will be located in Kaduna, we are saying no to that.
â€œAnd to let them know that we are ready for the game they want to play, that is why we started with aÂ federal government road to put forward our demand and as a matter of fact, we are given them one week ultimatum to annul the reversal of the upgradeâ€, he said.
He said the argument by Dr. Lukman that there was no drop of oil in London where he attended a College of Petroleum and so, it was not compulsory that Kaduna must have oil before such an institution would be sited there was not tenable, as the federal government did not site the Institute of Agriculture, which was strategically established in the North in the Niger-Delta with the same reason.
The studentsâ€™ leader said the students of PTI, Effurun were undergoing untold hardship because the school was not properly functioning, only for the government to approve over N14 billion for upgrade in Kaduna .