The Nigeria government, Monday, stated that together with some of its parastatals and international oil companies, it would be investing N1.7 trillion in the Niger Delta over the next three years.
Speaking at the Seventh Sustainability in the Extractive Industry (SITEI) conference organized by CSR-In-Actionin Abuja, Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Charles Achodo, lamented that $40 billion had been invested in 11,000 projects in the Niger Delta over the last 10 years without concrete evidence.
He said the amount was invested through the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and other government agencies.
He explained that this was led to the launch of the Niger Delta Development Compact by the Federal Government, which aims to mobilize N1.7 trillion to the region between now and 2021.
He said, “The Niger Delta has become a cacophony of voices but without a purpose, it has also become a region with a cacophony of all kinds of projects. If you look closely from the past 10 years, up to $40 billion has been made available for that region and you can never tour the Niger Delta and see a N1 billion or a N500 million investment. But I am telling you, collectively, for the past 10 years, that was what has gone into that region.
“That amount was basically what was invested through NDDC and the ministry of Niger Delta. If you check them, for instance, the NDDC has close to 11,000 contracts. With these contracts, mostly owned and held by people from the region, then you can understand that we are the ones doing ourselves in, for not implementing those projects.
“11,000 contracts and if you distribute them all along, you are looking at close to $40 billion in terms of investment. Go the ministry of Niger Delta, it is the same thing.
“When you look at the Niger Delta Development Compact which we have, which covered the short term, medium term, from now till 2021, you are looking at a total investment of N1.7 trillion that is earmarked for the region and that covered what the oil companies are putting into the region, what government agencies are putting into the region and all kinds of investments that is required in that region.”
He also stated that the current Presidential Amnesty Programme of the Federal Government is not sustainable, adding that the programme cannot be a solution to the crisis to the Niger Delta crisis.