By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – The Federal Government has concluded arrangement to establish Niger Delta Oil Spillage Management Fund, NDOSMF, in order to address the menace of environmental degradation confronting the region.
This development was contained in communiqué issued at the end of the 2ND meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta, NCND, held at the International Centre for Culture and Events (The Dome), Akure, Ondo State, between 7th and 14th September, 2017.
The council also, approved commencement of systematic rehabilitation and restoration programme for conservation of wetlands in the Niger Delta region.
The Council also encouragement of the nine (9) States to adopt and domesticate the Niger Delta Action Plan (NDAP), leverage on the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), and seek innovative ways to improve transparency and accountability in the management of programmes.
It approved amongst other things, the adoption of Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a major funding option to mobilize private sector resources for accelerated development of the Niger Delta region;
The council according to the communiqué, approved the following items, The development and implementation of the Niger Delta Region Climate Change Programme and Action Plan (NDRCCP – PAC) to mitigate and reduce the impact of climate change in the region, as well as, protect shorelines of coastal communities.
“The commissioning of a reconnaissance survey of the entire coastal communities in the Niger Delta region;
“The coordination and harmonization of socio-economic infrastructural projects by MNDA in partnership with States and other Stakeholders operating in the region to avoid overlaps and duplication of efforts;
“Support and encourage the partnership between Federal Government and all relevant groups that aims at the attainment of sustainable peace, development and stability of the Niger Delta region;
“The establishment of a Youth Sports Engagement Programme (YSEP) including swimming to promote peaceful co-existence, harmony and stability, as well as, generate employment among the youth in the region;
“The establishment of a Cancer Diagnostic and Care Centre in each of the nine (9) states, raise cancer awareness amongst women, train health workers to manage the diagnostic centre in collaboration with EU and relevants MDAs, as well as, encourage state governments to make adequate budgetary provisions for establishment of Cancer Centres in their 2018 budget appropriations and beyond;
“The implementation of inter-ministerial collaboration on roads infrastructural development programmes among the Federal and State Ministries of Works in the Niger Delta Region to maximize its potential benefits;
“Council to convey to the nine (9) States to prioritize strengthening of physical planning institutions and deployment of modern technology for physical planning and urban management in their respective states, to fast track orderly and sustainable urban development which are capable of mitigating natural disasters like flooding;
“The MNDA to synergize with National Inland Waterways Authority and integrate all efforts aimed at developing water transportation in the Niger Delta region;
The design and implementation of inclusive Community Surveillance and Community Peace Architecture that builds on effective and efficient community-based early warning and early response system for durable peaceful co-existence and stability in the region;
“The diversification of the economy of the Niger Delta Region through engagement of Youth in agriculture to create a robust economy that guarantees jobs and wealth creation;
“ The consolidation of all youth programmes including youth empowerment programme, such as, technical and vocational skill acquisition, entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises, to activate local economy in the region;
“The sourcing of alternative funding for the completion of skill acquisition centres, as well as, continuous training of youths in relevant skills in all the States of the Niger Delta region;
“The carrying out of interventionist advocacy to relevant MDAs to complete all Federal Government on-going projects in the Niger Delta region.”
Others include, “ The establishment of two hundred (200) hectares farm settlement in each state of the region to increase food production and empowerment of, at least, 200 farmers;
“The collaboration, building of synergy and partnership with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organization (CBOs) working on social and economic development of the Niger Delta region;
“ Adoption of the Strategic Implementation Work Plan that aims at stabilizing security situation, promote socio-economic development, encourage investments and growth in the oil and gas sector and present same to the Federal Executive Council for approval;
“ Encouragement of MNDA to support the establishment of Industrial Parks by the nine (9) states to boost employment and advance infrastructural development in the region;
“Establishment of National Youth Empowerment Endowment Funds and creation of biometric data bank to register youth for effective planning, monitoring and evaluation of youth programmes in the region;
“The facilitation and advocacy for the buy-in of Niger Delta States to build Truck Transit Parks for ease of transportation of industrial goods in the region; and
“The mainstreaming of women in the socio-economic development programmes and establishment of special economic empowerment fund for women in the region.”
The Council particularly expressed deep appreciation to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhamadu Buhari, GCFR and Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON for their relentless efforts towards the development of the Niger Delta region.