Bombing oil pipelines is not the solution– NDDC boss, Ndoma-Egba urges militants
Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, has urged militants to stop destroying oil installations in the Niger Delta region.
Ndoma-Egba made the plea during a courtesy visit by the Cross River State University of Technology, CRUTECH, Alumni Association at the NDDC Headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Urging those aggrieved to call for truce, the former lawmaker said, “We are in urgent need of development in the region and it is only in an atmosphere of peace that we can develop.”
He noted that the issues of poverty and restiveness that has plagued the oil rich region could only be addressed when development was allowed to thrive, adding that, “We cannot develop in an environment of militancy.”
The NDDC Chairman said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had shown good faith by increasing the financial allocations to the development agencies in the Niger Delta region.
“If you look at the 2016 budget, there is a marginal increase in everything concerning the region. Allocation to Niger Delta Ministry went up, the budget of the NDDC went up, and the budget of the Amnesty Program went up.
“Now, something is being done with some urgency on the completion of the East-West Road. We have the Lagos-Calabar rail line and recently the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibanjo visited Delta State and gave very firm assurances that the problems of the region will be addressed urgently”, he said.
He advised people of the region to reciprocate and show good faith by halting the breaches in oil and gas infrastructure, lamenting that such criminal activities were detrimental to the interest of the region, as they were more like “shooting ourselves in the feet.”
Acknowledging the importance of education in changing the mind-set of youths prone to restiveness, Ndoma-Egba said: “The real resources of a nation are its youths. But the youths remain a resource only if they are educated and skilled to be empowered. If the youths are not educated, skilled and empowered, it becomes a challenge.”