The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has challenged Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani Uguru, and his Minister of State, Cladius Omoleye Daramola, to become agents of change who would turn around the fortunes of the Niger Delta for the better. The party threw the challenge via a statement issued Sunday in Port Harcourt, in which it congratulated the two ministers on their appointment, describing them as seasoned and patriotic administrators whose appointment demonstrates President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire for the immediate emancipation and development of the Niger Delta region.
Rivers APC in the statement signed by its Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, appealed to the ministers “to convoke, as a matter of urgency, a Summit of Niger Delta Elders and Stakeholders to proffer solutions to the myriad of problems facing the region so as to make the work of the honourable ministers easier.”
While hoping that the suggestion would be accepted and implemented, Rivers APC drew attention to some of the major issues that need the immediate action of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, namely:
1. Re-organisation/Reformation and Streamlining of the Amnesty Programme to make it more effective and thus ensure greater stability and security of the region. The programme should also be made to accommodate Cross River and Imo states as the exclusion of the youths of these two states poses a security risk to the region.
2. Complete and equip the Skills Acquisition Centres in the region, making them functional so as to train Niger Delta youths and women, empowering them to become meaningfully engaged on a sustainable basis.
3. Immediate completion of the East-West Road, as well as construction of the East-West Coastal Rail Line.
4. Complete overhaul of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to stamp out the massive corruption going on there and make it more effective.
5. Release of funds due to the NDDC to enable it complete on-going projects and initiate new ones to meet the needs of the people of the Niger Delta people.
6. Create an Eco-friendly environment by embarking upon projects that will protect Niger Delta communities from oil spillage and gas flaring.
7. Direct funding of host communities and effective partnering between oil companies and their host communities.
8. Relocation of corporate headquarters of oil companies to areas of their operations.
9. Ensure Environmental Impact Assessment for all projects to be executed in the Niger Delta.
10. Ensure that the Niger Delta gets its fair share of appointments and employment opportunities so as to reduce the massive unemployment of the youths of the region.
11. Ensure even distribution of projects and facilities as the deliberate exclusion of some communities is a time bomb that may explode at anytime.
12. Give qualified contractors from the Niger Delta priority consideration in the award of contracts as a means of further empowering the people of the region.
“We are convinced that if some of these ideas are implemented, the vision of President Buhari for the Niger Delta region may have been accomplished,” Rivers APC said.
Long Live APC!
Long Live Rivers State!!
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria
Long Live President Muhammadu Buhari
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
SSA Media and Public Affairs to the State Chairman, APC Rivers State.