Edobor Iyamu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, on Tuesday said that militancy in the Niger Delta region was being contained by the present administration through series of people-oriented programmes.
He said this while addressing State House correspondents after the unveiling of the Niger Delta Vision website: www.ndnewvision.gov.ng
, by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja.
The ceremony was held during the 2018 World Environment Day.
Iyamu said: “It (militancy) is being contained, this administration is doing a lot to ensure that we are in tune with all of the agreements reached and all of the things that we need to do to ensure that peace is maintained in the region.”
According to the presidential aide, following the palliative to the people of the region oil exploration has increased and has been sustained over a long period of time for almost a year or there about.
He said: “I think that to a very large extent militancy has been contained by this administration and I think there is peace and calm in the region and we are moving forward.”
The Presidential aide recalled that since the United Nations Environmental Protection report was produced on Ogoni cleanup in 2011 nothing was done until the Buhari administration intervened.
He said: “Since this administration came into power, it has commenced a number of activities in fulfillment of the UNEP report.”
According to him, the report says some preliminary steps should be taken, one of which is that a health impact assessment test, water contamination test and other medical outreaches must be carried out.
Iyamu said that such preliminaries were to bring in some kind of palliatives to the region.
He noted that Hypre, the agency in charge of the Ogoniland cleanup, had done a number of medical outreaches as well as a number of assessments in respect of water pollution extent.
He observed that the cleanup was at a point where advertisements had been published for interested companies to bid from where no fewer than 120 companies were pre-qualified and ready to move into the technical and commercial bid stage.
Iyamu said the next stage would take place in one or two months, adding that after the process contract would be awarded to successful companies for the actual remediation to begin.
He said: “I think it is a very exciting moment; we have a very clear sense of direction as to where we are going.
“The process of actual remediation should happen in a very short time from now because the process is ongoing.”
On the New Vision for the Niger Delta, Iyamu noted that it was designed by the present government to develop the region as a forthright partnership between the Federal Government, states, private sector and the communities to ensure that the programmes of the administration got to the communities.
He said it was opposed to previous progammes, where a lot of government programmes were hijacked by a few.
Iyamu said: “This is designed to ensure that the infrastructure that the people demand and all of the good things to make life more meaningful in the people actually get to the people.
“And that is what this new vision is all about.”
The Presidential aide described the new vision as positive, recalling the 2017 tour of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, where he interacted with different opinion leaders in the region who also made several demands.
Iyamu said: “One of the demands was that the federal government should re-open the Maritime University.
“The Maritime University has been fully operationalized and as at now it has no fewer than 390 students given admission and the university has fully commenced lectures.
“Indeed that is bringing to fruition what the government had promised the people.”
Arukaimo Umukoro, the Special Assistant on communication projects in the aide’s office, said the website was part of the strategies of the Niger Delta New Vision team to communicate effectively to the region and the entire country what the government was doing in terms of developing the region.
Umukoro noted that under the New Vision, a lot of activities had taken place including the Maritime University establishment, Ogoni cleanup and siting of two modular refineries in Delta and Rivers states.
According to him, the refineries will be inaugurated by the end of 2018.
He said: “These are some of the things the Federal Government has planned and being implemented on further development of the Niger Delta.
“Under the New Vision we also have what is called the strategic implementation work plan which is wholesome roadmap to develop the region.
“So this administration is doing something cogent to develop the region, unlike in the past where there were failed promises.
“This government is keeping its promise through the New Vision and that is what we intend to communicate with the Niger Delta New Vision website, as part of our communication strategy.”