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FG okays new package for Niger-Delta

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The Presidency has finally come out with a bumper package aimed at accelerating the return of peace to the troubled Niger Delta region and ensure steady production of oil, Nigeria’s biggest foreign exchange earner, and gas, the badly-needed feedstock for the nation’s power generating plants.

On the cards are the renewal, and re-award of existing oil pipeline protection contracts, possibly to militant leaders; overhaul of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, and the immediate take-off of the controversial National Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu, Delta State.

It was gathered from presidency sources that the Federal Government is considering the vexatious issue of pipeline protection contracts, which were handled by key militant leaders under the previous administration but abruptly terminated when the Buhari administration took over.

However, it was learned that in a bid to ensure peace, the Presidency had already directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at the protection contracts for the pipelines to ensure that host communities are also incorporated, while ensuring a comprehensive review of existing ones.

A top Presidency official, who is familiar with the roadmap being fine-tuned by the Buhari administration to address the crisis in the Niger Delta, confirmed to Vanguard, last night, necessary directives have been given to the agencies of the administration saddled with the strategic tasks to revamp the Niger Delta and give the people a new lease of life.

According to the official, an implantation planning meeting was held, last week, in the Presidency where several ministers and relevant MDAs started putting draft measures that will ensure the immediate take-off of the programmes aimed at transforming the region.

On the Maritime University, under the comprehensive work plan for the development of the Niger Delta, the Federal Government has activated a process for the smooth take-off of the institution, with the Petroleum Trust Development Fund as the lead agency in the implementation of the plan, another presidency source disclosed.

Vanguard, March 20, 2017

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