Niger Delta Ministry, PIND collaborate to end insecurity, hostility in region
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) have started developing a security framework to strengthen rural-urban security in the Niger Delta region.
The move, according to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Olufunso Adebiyi, was part of measures by Federal Government to reduce agitation due to perceived neglect and environmental degradation caused by oil and gas exploration. He noted that the situation had made the region volatile and unattractive for investors despite huge potential.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, yesterday, while inaugurating the Technical Working Group (TWG) that would develop the regional strategy, Adebiyi regretted that businesses were being shut down due to an increase in armed robbery, kidnapping, communal tensions, pipeline vandalism and oil theft across the region.
He said: “The destruction of national assets and oil theft have resulted in the country’s dwindling oil production. This has exposed the country to economic uncertainties, as it has become difficult to meet its OPEC quota, control fast-rising inflation and adequately fund the yearly budgets.
“As part of efforts lined up by Federal Government to reverse this ugly trend, President Buhari has mandated the Ministry to develop a security framework for participatory incident reporting and strengthening of rural-urban security in the region. This non-kinetic approach seeks to bring together all critical stakeholders to a roundtable to brainstorm and develop a regional peace-building strategy for the region.”
Advocacy Manager of PIND, Chuks Ofulue, while responding to questions, acknowledged that there had been conflicting plans, and multiple strategies towards addressing the Niger Delta challenges, which has not yielded optimum results.
He said: “Previous plans had no section that deals with peace and security, which is key in solving problems. That’s why we are introducing peace elements and security in the new plan.”