Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that notwithstanding the past leadership and governance failures, which resulted in the worrying conditions of Nigerians in the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta, the people of the area still deserve a fair deal.
Osinbajo said it is the reason the current administration is now advocating a new vision for the people of the Niger Delta. A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, last night said Osinbajo spoke yesterday at the Presidential Villa while chairing an inter-ministerial follow-up meeting with relevant government ministries, departments and agencies involved in the Niger Delta,
“The President believes the people of the Niger Delta deserve justice, and for me also, it is a very important point,” the Vice President stated, adding that the state of the region and the suffering of the people does not reflect the fact that “it is the resource base of the country.”
Continuing, he said: “In spite of the past leadership failure, the Niger Delta people deserved a fair deal.” Osinbajo told the inter-ministerial team that includes ministers and others MDA heads that the meeting was to ensure “we are faithful to the promises and spirit of the presidential engagements with the people of the Niger Delta.”
In attendance at the meeting were the Minister of the Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril.
Others include the Presidential Adviser on Amnesty Programme, Maj-Gen. Paul Boroh, and the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima U. Ekere.
All the ministers and officials made presentations about the next steps in the process, especially on how to effectively meet the commitments and deliver the promises made by the Federal Government during the interactive engagement tours led by the Vice President.
In his presentation, Jubril disclosed that the ministry has now fully engaged the Ogoni Clean-Up Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil, an indigene of Ogoni. Besides, he also revealed that potential contractors have been visiting the site to demonstrate available and suitable technology to be used for the exercise.
Later, Osinbajo also received a delegation of western diplomats from countries involved in the oil industry in Nigeria. The delegation was led by the Dutch Envoy in Nigeria, Ambassador John C.M. Groffen, and included Ambassadors, High Commissioners or their deputies from the United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany, Italy, United States (US) and the European Union.
The Vice President told the diplomats that the idea of the interactive engagements with the oil-producing communities originated from President Muhammadu Buhari after he met with leaders from the region last November.
He added that the Buhari administration is working on how to make a positive and long-lasting impact in the region in a way that transforms the lives of the people from the “treasure trove of Nigeria.”
He added that the Federal Government welcomes partnership and support of the western countries in that effort.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Groffen said the countries represented at the meeting would like to stay involved in the dialogue and commended the administration’s approach of the matter.