Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday reaffirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to offer a better deal to the people of Niger Delta.
He made the assertion while presiding over an inter-ministerial follow-up meeting with relevant government ministries, departments and agencies involved in rebuilding the Niger Delta.
Osinbajo was reflecting on the past leadership and governance failures which explained the worrying conditions of residents in the oil-producing communities.
“The people still deserve a fair deal,” he explained, noting that this is the position of Buhari.
He said it was also the reason that the Buhari-led administration was advocating a New Vision for the people of the region.
“The President believes that the people of Niger Delta deserve justice and, for me also, it is a very important point.
“It is the resource base of the country and in spite of the past leadership failure, the Niger Delta people deserve a fair deal,” he said.
The vice president told the inter-ministerial team that the meeting was to ensure “we are faithful to the promises and the spirit of the presidential engagements with the people of the Niger Delta”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by the Niger Delta Affairs Minister Usani Uguru Usani; Petroleum Resources Minister of State Ibe Kachikwu, and the Environment Minister of State Ibrahim Jubril.
Others were the Presidential Adviser on Amnesty Programme, retired Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh, and the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Nsima Ekere.
The ministers and officials made presentations about the next steps in the process to effectively meet the commitments and deliver the promises made by the Federal Government during the interactive engagement tours led by the vice president.
In his presentation, Jubril disclosed that the ministry had fully engaged the Ogoni Clean-Up Project Coordinator, Dr Marvin Dekil, himself an indigene of Ogoni.
He also said that potential contractors had been visiting the site to demonstrate available and suitable technology to be used for the Clean-Up.
The vice president later received a delegation of western diplomats from countries involved in the oil industry in Nigeria.
The delegation was led by Amb. John Groffen, the Dutch envoy in Nigeria, as well as the ambassadors and High Commissioners or their deputies from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, U.S. and the European Union.
Osinbajo told the diplomats that the idea of the interactive engagements with the oil-producing communities resulted from President Buhari’s meeting with leaders from the region in November 2016.
He said that the Buhari-led administration was working on how to make a positive and long-lasting impact in the region in a way that would transform the lives of the people.
The vice president also said that the federal government would welcome the partnership and support of western countries in that effort.
Amb. Groffen, on behalf of the delegation, said that the countries represented at the meeting would like to stay involved in the dialogue.
He commended the approach of the Buhari-led administration in the matter.
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