- ‘Paucity of Funds Stalls Polluted Niger Delta Areas Clean-up’
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Uguru Usani, has said that the slow pace of remediation of polluted areas of the Niger Delta region is due to scarcity of funds.
Usani spoke in Abuja on Thursday when the new Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Mr Fiorillo Lorenzo, visited him.
He said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was not unaware of the urgent need to check the effects of pollution in the Niger Delta region but was constrained by other pressing demands.
He therefore called on the NAOC managing director to make the clean-up of polluted areas of the Niger Delta region one of the priorities of his company.
Usani added that the ministry was willing to collaborate with the firm on the development of the region.
The minister, who expressed appreciation of the government for the oil company’s previous efforts in developing the region, urged it to abide by the ministry’s Strategic Implementation Work Plan that was geared towards the avoidance of duplicity of projects by its development partners.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof Claudius Daramola, urged Lorenzo to evolve ways of helping the Federal Government curb the issues of oil spillage and youth restiveness, as they were some of the challenges of the region.
He also urged management of NAOC to make provision for aged and retired Niger Delta indigenes.
Lorenzo stated that the visit was part of his familiarisation visits to development partners and stakeholders in the Niger Delta region upon assumption of duty, and promised not to renege on the efforts made by his predecessors to develop the region.