Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Umana Okon Umana, has said that the ministry was joining forces with the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to end vandalism of oil facilities.
Umana made the remark in a statement issued by Neotabase Egbe, Special Adviser, Media, PAP in Yenogoa, on Friday.
The Minister who was speaking while receiving PAP’s Interim Administrator, retired Col. Milland Dikio in his office, said that NDDC and the ministry would consolidate their efforts for the holistic development of the region.
According to him, it is high time the ministry, PAP and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) worked in tandem to develop common practical templates to tackle the problems in the region, especially oil theft related activities.
Umana said such a joint rescue plan was required because oil theft and pipeline vandalism were undermining the peace and security of the nation.
“Those of us in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the NDDC and other stakeholders, including community leaders, should work together to address the burning issue in our region.
“I would like all of us to sit down and come up with a solution to this problem; I challenge all of us to work together to assist the Federal Government to solve the problem,” Umana said.
He acknowledged that Dikio was right in his argument that the region would be better off if the various agencies charged with developing it worked in one accord.
The minister offered to work with Dikio to achieve the objectives of the recovery plan, especially in the areas of training.
Earlier, Dikio informed the minister that the leadership of PAP embarked on the visit to congratulate him on his appointment and to seek areas of support and collaboration.
He said it was time all the agencies established for the improvement of the region began to work together for optimal impact.
Dikio identified Infrastructure development as the key element in efforts to guarantee peace and stability in the region.
He added that the Amnesty Programme had developed a strategy to wean youths in the region from deviancy and militancy through an orientation plan, targeting the age of 13 years and above.
Dikio said the youth reorientation project was part of the stabilisation plan that would create the right atmosphere for development partners to engage with and assist the region in its quest for development.