…Call FG to protect Niger Delta investors
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
A group of Niger Delta youths has disagreed with those calling for the declaration of Niger Delta Republic, saying that the Niger Delta has invested much in the Nigeria project and cannot back out from the country.
The group has also pleaded with the Federal Government to prevail on the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to settle whatever differences with the Global Gas Refining limited an indigenous oil and gas company with an investment of $400 million which has been in comatose as a result of the government draconian policy.
The Niger Delta group under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress comprised of over 200 organizations within the Niger Delta who paid a courtesy visit on the Chairman of Global Gas Refining limited, Kenneth Yellow in Abuja said living together as a single entity would benefit the country instead of going separate ways.
Speaking on behalf of the group, the Senior Special Assistant to Bayelsa State Governor on Niger Delta Youth Affairs Kenndey Tonjo West, condemned hate speeches across the country, saying that what the country needed was a united country that would protect the interest of everybody with equal opportunities.
sHe said, “We condemn hate speeches from across the country, every section of the country, we believe in a united Nigeria, we believe in a Nigeria that can protect us and give us equal level playing ground. We have invested in this estate called Nigeria and we don’t think it is proper for us to begin to back out having journeyed with Nigeria so far.
“We think that we can still go on the table and dialogue and put the right pegs in right holes and ensuring that we can come up with policies. All we need for now is re-orientation of our mindsets. The issue of Nigeria should come first and every other thing is secondary and God Himself will intervene in the situation and give us succor and peace and prosperity.
“Today we talk about ex-militant, Niger Delta crusaders giving an ultimatum. We want to say that in as much as we are not comfortable with the way the Federal Government is foot dragging concerning the promises that were made in the Niger Delta more especially as it reflects the recent concluded tour of the Acting President to the Niger Delta and the various promises made, we also appeal to our brothers to sheath their swords and let us engage in jaw-jaw, let us dialogue, let us look at more proactive avenues.”
He said that one of the issues that had triggered crisis and agitations in the Niger Delta region was unemployment, political emasculations and other obnoxious policies that had taken the region aback, stressing that some of the problems were caused by the federal government, while the people of the region also contributed in some of the problems.
Calling on the Federal Government to intervene in the alleged injustice meted out to the global gas industry, he said, “Global Gas when in existence employed over 700 youths within Rivers State in the gas matter. It is worthy to note that Global Gas Refining limited is the first indigenous gas refining company in the Niger Delta and our brother invested over $400 million in this project. The company is also been obsolete because of obnoxious policies that contravened the agreement between Shell and the Global Gas.
“However, we thank God for a proactive and responsible Chairman of Global Gas who decided to go through litigation and follow the ambit of the law in ensuring that those issues are addressed. We want to use this medium to commend the Federal Government for their timely intervention in ensuring that these issues are addressed headlong. And we want to plead with them to do more by ensuring that it is an accelerated problem.
“If the Federal Government actually wants to curb militancy, pipeline vandalism, it will ensure that they immediately implement those policies that will generate employment opportunities, empowerment opportunities, industrial revolution within that region. And that falls within the Global Gas purview.
“Today, we are talking about not having power, is it that we don’t have the resources to produce the power? We have, but how is the government policy towards encouraging the people who are in that industry, those are the things that we need to question.
“Indigenous and illustrious sons of the region have gone far and brought in companies, expertise to ensure that we also thrive in the gas industry. Today what people talk about is more petroleum product, nobody is talking about gas, yet Nigeria still remains the giant in gas in Africa, that means that we have not been adequately tapped that resources.
“If we have, how many are the players there?, the players who are there, how are being treated in terms of policy formulation, in terms of subsidy to ensure that area receives the needed attention for the boost that works.
“Global Gas coming back to business again has the capacity to employ three thousand youths immediately for first of building of the Global Gas Terminal and then employing over 1,500 creating commerce and industry within that area.
“We want to use this opportunity to say that at the purview of GMD of the NNPC, there are several projects that ought to benefit the Niger Delta. Take for instance, the military in the Niger Delta, the JTF are pressured because they work round the clock in ensuring that there is protection of lives and property, there is protection of oil and gas facilities, but then, NNPC before now had given surveillance contracts to the indigenes because security is a collective, holistic thing and nobody will feel happy that some of the jobs that they are supposed to do are being done by the military. “