ACTING President, Yemi Osinbajo on Friday reiterated the preparedness of the Federal Government to develop the Niger Delta region.
Osinbajo, who led other high powered Federal Government delegates including the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Ikachukwu; Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, stated this in Yenagoa during his visit to Bayelsa State as part of efforts to bring lasting solution to the Niger Delta crisis.
He however said the federal government alone could not solve the plethora of problems bedevilling the region and urged all stakeholders to take up the responsibility of ensuring peace and stability in the region.
Thousands of Bayelsans defied the scorching sun to come out and welcome the Acting President whose fact finding visit to the state brought together for the first time, former Bayelsa governor, Chief Timipre Sylva and the incumbent, Hon Seriake Dickson, and their supporters under one roof after the fiercely contested state governorship election won by the latter.
Osinbajo said: “We are here as emissaries on behalf of the President Muhammadu Buhari to propose a new vision for the people of the Niger Delta and Nigeria.
“The Federal Government will begin a partnership with the oil producing communities, states, local government, private sector and civil societies for the rapid development of the Niger Delta.
“We must convene an oil community’s intervention to work out what can be done in the short and medium term and in the long. We must focus on how to ensure that the people benefit from the wealth of the land.
“The new vision will define the future of the region. Oil exploitation itself cannot survive our people with decent jobs; we must make oil producing communities’ hub of petrochemical industries, small and large. We must make the communities hubs of refining and related activities.”
Continuing, he said, “The Ministry of Petroleum Resources in collaboration with oil companies is working on a forty point agenda initiative for the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta. In particular, one of those is working with illegal refineries in the oil bearing communities to participate in the modular refineries that would be established.”