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‘Address graft, grievances to end Niger Delta crisis’


AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan

AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan

From a security expert and a traditional ruler from the troubled Niger Delta region, have come suggestions to the Federal Government on how to end the lingering crisis.

Militancy in the oil rich region has long affected oil production and revenue target of government, even as 2.2 million barrels per day estimate in the 2016 budget has been missed.

The industry experts, at the 17th International Health, Security and Environment (HSE) Biennial Conference in Lagos, tagged:
“Integrated Security Approach, New Strategies and the Way to go in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry,” urged government to take responsibility and protect national assets.

The General Manager, Security, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Shina Bankole, said government must now address corruption at all level, as well ensure active community engagements.

To him, government must actively participate through surveillance to ensure that right thing is done all the times, at the proper time and place.

He proposed stringent measures, like reviewing the existing laws on oil and gas related crime issues, as well as empower local governments to play more active roles in uncovering oil and gas criminalities in their domain.

But a former Minister of Petroleum and now a traditional ruler in the region, Dr. Edmund Daukoru, warned that despite the frustrations of the Niger Delta region due to lack of economic development, the agitators must not over-push their luck to lost sympathy.

He, however, as a royal father, who is always on the mediation and speaking for his people, urged Nigerians to support their call for attention, especially to accord their grievances a properly and orderly response.

“Political matters should be solved orderly in a constitutional way, he said.”

While describing the blowing up of pipelines as a loss of battle, with more self-inflicted damages directly and indirectly, he maintained that those assets are not only owned by the government, but by the whole federation.

Again, the warned that oil and gas companies must give serious thoughts to communities and how to create spendable incomes in their pockets, through provision of alternative means of livelihood, education and creation of employment for the population.

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