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Group urges govt to fast-track post-amnesty programme

By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT—A group of eminent Niger Deltans, under the aegis of Charles Weber Collective, has called on Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to fast-track government’s post-amnesty programme for the Niger Delta.

In an open letter to the Acting President, a copy of which was made available to Vanguard yesterday and signed by Captain-Briggs    Chinedum Ile and others, the group also called for immediate implementation of recommendations of the Niger Delta Technical Committee, otherwise known as the Ledum Mitee Committee.

It charged the Federal Government to release the N300 billion owed the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and suggested a revenue allocation formula of 25% that would be disbursed on the basis of derivation.

“To mark a leap in government’s attitude to true federalism and to mineral producing communities, we suggest you promptly present for the National Assembly’s approval, under Section 162(2) of the Constitution, a revenue allocation formula in which 25% will be disbursed on the basis of derivation,” said the group.

It identified what it called the protracted breakdown of governance as one of the major challenges confronting the region, and called on the acting president to give special attention to the problem of power, heath and security.

“Assemble the best cognate professionals – engineers, economists, lawyers, etc – to work with government to speed up the National Independent Power Plants programme. They may conduct a holistic review of the structure and sustainability of the NIPP transactions, aiming to remove bottlenecks without disrupting ongoing work.

“States should be allowed to distribute power, so some states can pursue self-sufficiency, relieving the national grid to serve other states better,” the group said.

Urging government to adopt public private partnership in the execution of some short-term projects in the country, the group said the military should be productively engaged in construction projects.


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