FG says spending N2.71 trillion on 337 projects in Niger Delta


* Niger Delta New Vision project anchors in Port Harcourt with 337 projects and a SIWP approach

The federal government says it is executing 337 projects in the Niger Delta region with a whopping N2.71Trillion. Government unveiled what it calls “Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP)” to drive the new vision. Officials from the presidency (office of the VP), the new vision had as focus partnership for regional development and nation-building, the key being to get the communities to support initiatives that would boost security and attract investments back.

The Niger Delta New Vision (NNNV) group led by the Senior Special Adviser (SSA), Edohor Iyamu, reeled out the projects and urged civil society groups to help get the buy-in of the communities. Some of the CSOs and media said they hoped to hear what the FG was doing in sensitive issues of development affecting the oil region such as East-West Road, Bonny/Bodo Road, Amnesty, Ogoni Clean Up, Port Harcourt Soot, President Buhari’s directive that NDDC claims of about N1 Trillion be resolved, fate of about 35,000 coastal fishermen who suffered setback over the Bonga oil Spill years ago. Others included the how the Ecological Fund hardly got to the oil region or to the NDDC, the modular refinery issue, and relocation order by the Acting President (Yemi Osinbajo) to IOCs to Port Harcourt.

Iyamu told the people: “By 2016 to 2017, pipeline vandalism became a major issue. The VP came around. Talks were held around the region, PANDEF was born, 16-point agenda was listed, and the New Vision for Niger Delta was established as partnership between the FG, private sector, communities, to develop the region. Each has a role to play.’

He said the FG and the communities each has a role to play, saying communities were to keep the peace to allow development to come. They were to identify trouble makers too.

He listed benefits so far as; “Maritime University in Okerenkeko in Delta State, which started in March, has admitted about 380 freshmen. Teaching has started. Modular refineries, up to three so far, are to be completed by end of March 2019. They are in Delta (Kwale) with initial 5000 barrels to be upgraded to 10,000. Niger Delta Exploration and Production Company in Rivers State, producing 1000 barrels per day of diesel, soon to be 5,000 bpd, to be commissioned by March 2019; Welter Smith Modular Refinery at Imo State; Oke-Onah in Akwa Ibom State.”

He went on: “There is the Ogoni Clean Up which he said may actually begin end of November 2018. Many measures were stipulated in the UNEP Report, and it is trying to meet up with these steps that cause delays, about 400 steps”, He said the objective of the workshop was to sensitise the people on things being done, get feedback from them, and start a narrative about the Niger Delta which must be driven by the Niger Delta people’

New Vision update: Charles Achodo

Community initiative in policing may soon debut

The SIWP has sustainability mechanism. Harmonisation of activities is the aim of this exercise. Community-based tracking is coming on; bottom-up feeding is what we want.

PANDEF suggested a community-based policing; getting communities to be involved in protection of pipelines. European experts are doing a study on this and the EU would support it with funding.

Communities are eager to protect pipelines in their areas but there needs to be a framework on that. It is good that issues of livelihood of the people of Ogoni has been included as mandate of the HYPREP. If you disrupt their lives and address only environment, there will be crisis.

Ogoni Clean Up: Marvin Dekil

HYPREP is repositioned to implement UNEP Report. So far, Governing Council, Board of Trustees, Project Coordination Office as structures to implement the Report are in place.

Actions: Water supply in Ogoni and there is heath study to know health dangers the people faced. Government added life-impact clause as mandate to reconstruct livelihoods of the community people. A combination of environmental remediation and livelihood improvement are now two key mandates of the new HYPREP.

Sensitisation through media and community channels are going on but its in phases. Not all Ogoni is impacted, you must know. The $1Bn recommended by the UNEP is just to start off. It may actually gulp up to $3Bn.

Stakeholders engagement has been done; sensitization has been done with youths, traditional rulers, communities, etc, showing them the opportunities open to them especially high level manpower to man the projects, Ogoni scientists have been trained to lead.

It is wrong to say nothing is going on in Ogoni. Site work done on five sites so far, especially in Sisekee which UNEP Report said has the highest water contamination. We are going back to base data of 2011 to design action plan. Drinking water survey is going on to work out water supply strategy, mapping of drinking water supply in the four LGAs. We find that more than 90 per cent of water facilities in Ogoni are non-functional. We are taking water from boreholes to the labs to determine high level of contamination to enable us put more water facilities. The water must meet WHO standards. The job started today, November 15, 2018.

Procurement: This is a dicey area. Between September 24 and October 12, 2018, we opened technical bids and financial bids. Contracts are to begin to be awarded for those within ministerial limits. Now, 403 companies bid. 183 passed, now 21 companies chosen to handle the 21 lots. Health outreach: over 20,000 patients were treated. It was a sensitization activity. Groups helping: UNITAR, PIND, Bori poly for trainings, etc. Of the 21 slots; five need council approval while the rest are within ministerial powers. Procurement has started in health, water, and now remediation.

Realities by Sam Eno

Ministry of Niger Delta, Director of Planning, Research & Statistics

Fostering synergy and institutional collaboration in the development of the Niger Delta; this is to ensure the institutions are not doing same thing. There were state offices but they were not doing anything. We now empower these offices to do their jobs. Now, Monitoring and Evaluation is important. The sad thing is that we do project inspection in this country, not actually monitoring and evaluation. We now ask, what projects are going on by each body.  Look at the East West. It needs N500Bn to finish it.  It is now to be done under direct funding. It has been redesigned, waiting for funding.

Portal by SDN to handle information on it, coordination is institutionalized, domiciled in the Ministry of Niger Delta. May become an institution later.

Niger Delta Power: Chiedu Ugbo, Represented by Anih Sinclair

The project is to propagate IPP projects; we have commissioned many projects especially in the Niger Delta, Sapele, Bayalsa, etc. This has contributed 4,500mw additional contributed to the national grid through the IPP. However, distribution problems seem to be much. I worked in GE, came back in 2014. We built them to sell, aimed at facilitating development in the Niger Delta. We are supporting generation and distribution of power to support development.