THE Federal Government and stakeholders from the Niger Delta region, on Thursday, resolved to stop the recent upsurge in attacks on critical oil and gas installations in the region, lamenting that violence was not an option in resolving the problems of the region and that all threats from the area should end henceforth.
To ensure security, stability and economic development of the area, however, all the states in the region would nominate four or five representatives that would work together with the security agencies to secure oil facilities in their respective states.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who addressed newsmen at the end of a meeting in Abuja, expressed the Federal Government’s readiness to check the resurgence of pipeline sabotage in the region.
He explained that the meeting decided that there was the need to reach out to all other stakeholders who were not part of the meeting, to embrace peace and dialogue.
Dr Kachikwu said all the stakeholders resolved that solutions to the incessant attacks on oil and gas pipelines were within the communities, adding that communities were now saddled with the responsibility of ensuring protection of pipelines within their domains.
“There was the need to restructure the amnesty programme, so as to address the critical issue of neglect by the government and international oil companies.
“The Niger Delta governors must be involved in providing lasting solutions to the resurgence of pipeline vandalism and there is the urgent need to create business opportunities for the locals in the region,” he added.
Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State and other leaders of the Niger Delta region who spoke at the meeting implored the agitators to drop their arms and embrace dialogue, as the government was determined to develop the region.
All the stakeholders who spoke at the meeting reassured that they would take the message of peace back home, in order to provide a win-win situation for the Federal Government and the Niger Delta region.
Others at the meeting were National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Mohammed Babagana Monguno (retd.); Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Uguru; Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heneiken Lokpobiri; Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Brigadier-General Paul Boroh and stakeholders from Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta and Ondo states.