Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta says it has spent more than 190 million dollars in stimulating economic development and peace-building in the Niger Delta since 2010.
Tunji Idowu, the Deputy Executive Director, PIND made this known while answering questions from newsmen during the “CAPABLE Training of Regional and National Media Professionals’’ organised by PIND in Egbokodo-Itsekiri, Warri, Delta.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that PIND is a non-profit organisation based in Nigeria.
It was established in 2010, with headquarters in Abuja, and branch offices in Warri, Delta and Port Harcourt.
Its aim is to evolve strategies for addressing deep-rooted socio-economic problems in the Niger Delta by growing networks of international and local partners to collaborate in developing and implementing new solutions and reducing dependence on oil in the region.
He explained that PIND being largely funded by Chevron Corporation to build partnerships and equitable economic development in the Niger Delta expended 90 million dollars and leveraged over 100 million dollars from donor agencies.
Idowu said that Chevron spent 50 million dollars from 2010 to 2014 in the first phase, and 40 million dollars would be expended in the second phase from 2015 to 2019.
According to him, more than 100 million dollars are from organisations such as UNICEF, Rotary and others.
Idowu explained that the donors’ funds were spent specifically on projects the people of the region wanted the Foundation to implement in an effort to achieve sustainable peace and economic development of the oil-rich region.
He said that the Foundation achieved a lot through partnerships in the areas of agriculture, agro processing, market system approach and peace building.
Idowu also called on government at all levels to be alive to their responsibilities, especially in the area of security to complement the efforts of development agencies.
Earlier, Misan Edema-Sillo, the Senior Market Development Advisor of PIND, explained that the key component of the market system approach was dynamism.
He noted that for every service, there was demand and supply, adding that the Foundation had built partnership in palm oil, cassava, aquaculture, cocoa and business linkages.
Edema-Sillo said that about 14, 847 cassava farmers in the Niger Delta benefitted from PIND partnership with input companies and agro dealers which created 403 jobs in the region.
He said that five fabricators were trained on the new technology of palm oil processing and equipment and the beneficiaries had been producing the equipment, which had led to increased oil processing.
According to him, PIND is focusing on agro production and market identification presently in order to meet local demand.