Efforts by the Federal Government to fast track the development of the Niger Delta appear to be in full swing, as it plans to site a $20 billion gas industrial park in the region through a public-private partnership.
This was made known on Monday by Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, during a meeting with a group of international investors and developers on the project at the Presidential Villa.
The consortium is made up of fortune 500 companies which include the GSE&C of South Korea, the China Development Bank, Power China and several other global operators from Asia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle-East.
A statement from the Vice President’s office explained that the project, tagged the Gas Revolution Industrial Park (GRIP), would be located in Ogidigben, Delta State, and is envisaged to be a regional hub for all gas-based industries.
According to the Acting President, the project would cover 2700 hectares with fertiliser, methanol, petrochemicals, and aluminium plants located in the park which has already been designated as a Tax Free Zone by the Federal Government.
He said the government “is committed to the development of the Niger Delta, and the importance of this project is underlined by the presidential attention it is attracting. The presidency is very interested”.
We Are Unwavering
Professor Osinbajo added that the Federal Government takes the project very seriously, just as it is ready to make several other commitments to change the fortune of the oil-producing states.
“We already have a steering committee in place, chaired by the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and that shows the level of our commitment. We are unwavering.
“We take the project very seriously and glad to see you are committed and ready to make several other commitments. This is a process that we intend to see happen,” he said.
On his part, Dr. Kachikwu expressed confidence that the GRIP would bring the much needed succour to the people of the Niger Delta and the oil-producing states.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the group of investors and developers, Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh, stated the commitment of the consortium, stressing the importance of the project to solving the Niger Delta crisis.
The development comes against the backdrop of the recent visit by the Acting President to the oil-producing communities, to demonstrate the resolve of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to pursue a new vision for the Niger Delta.
It was an emotional moment in the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, as Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council held a valedictory session for the out-going Minister Of Environment, Amina Mohammed.
Mrs Mohammed, who has served the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for 15 months, is set to take over as the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations on March 7, 2017.
The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who chaired the session, described the out-going minister as a role model to Nigerian women.
Some of her colleagues also lauded her achievements, describing her as a gift from Nigeria to the world.
The minister, who could not hide her emotions while giving her address, said she was proud to be the one to fly Nigeria’s flag up there at the United Nations, promising to give it her best shot.
Acting President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is set to launch a three-day Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic on Thursday, February 23 for viable enterprises in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
Recall that Acting President Osinbajo commissioned the Aba MSME clinic on January 26.
Aba is the commercial hub of Abia State in southeast Nigeria.
The Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau, Mr Segun Soewu, who made the disclosure in a statement on Monday, informed that the event would hold at the Banquet Hall, Ilorin by 10:00AM daily.
He described the clinic as an opportunity for MSME operators in the state to discuss the opportunities and challenges confronting their businesses.
The MSME Bureau boss added that business owners can also make inquiries about policies and regulations regarding their businesses from the Federal agencies that would be present at the programme.
He listed the agencies to include the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Export-Import Bank and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Others are Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Projects Development Institute, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.
Mr Soewu asked intending participants to contact the office of the Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau at the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives, Gambari Road in Ilorin.
Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has met with the Presidential Task Force On Rice and Wheat at the presidential villa.
The meeting which took place behind closed doors, had in attendance some state governors, including the governors of Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi and Ebonyi.
The Kebbi State Governor, Bagudu Abubakar, speaking to journalists after the meeting, said that they reviewed the wheat and rice programme so as to discover how to support states to increase production of the staple foods.
He said Osinbajo noted with satisfaction, all the efforts of the different stakeholders to attain food sufficiency in the shortest possible time.
Furthermore, the acting president gave an assurance that the Federal Government would continue to support the drive towards food self-sufficiency.
Amidst the challenges of inadequate local refining capacity and meeting the demand for refined petroleum products, the Federal Government seems to be thinking of encouraging artisanal refineries which had bridged the product supply gap for decades.
Although outlawed, more than 60% of diesel and kerosene used in the region are sourced from local bush refineries produced from stolen crude through fractional distillation.
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd), says the Federal Government plans to liberalise modular refineries to develop the oil rich Niger Delta region.
Mr Boroh, who is the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, assured the people of the region that the proposed modular refineries in oil-producing communities would engender a new era in the Niger Delta region.
New Vision For Niger Delta
Speaking on Saturday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, he restated the commitment of the President Buhari’s administration towards the people of the region.
The President’s aide stated that the Federal Government’s intention of making oil bearing the hub for refining and related activities would not only create decent jobs and income for the people, but put them in a better position to drive the local economy.
While lauding the government’s new vision for the region, appealed to the youths to be calm, focused and more articulate in their quest for better living conditions and take advantage of the good gestures of the present administration.
“The Federal Government is seeking better ways for Niger Delta people to participate in the development process of the region through meaningful engagements.
“The Federal Government’s new partnership arrangement will bring about an unprecedented infrastructural development in the region.
“The government is working with the oil-producing states, local governments, oil companies and the private sector, including civil society organisations to achieve sustainable development in Niger Delta,” the amnesty coordinator revealed.
New Hub For Refining Activities
Boroh further commended the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, for taking the pains to identify with the people through his tour of the region.
“The planned oil-communities-intervention-meeting by the Federal Government to chart short, medium and long term development blueprint is a strategy to enhance the socio-economic activities in the region.
“The proposed coming on stream of modular refineries in oil bearing communities, the ex-agitators and other youths in the region will be meaningfully engaged in decent job.
“Those with entrepreneurial skills in oil and gas can participate in the petro-chemical industries in their communities which will soon become the new hub for refining activities,” he explained.
Reacting to Boroh’s remarks, Chairman of Phase II Ex-agitators in the Niger Delta, Honourable Salvation Rifus, applauded President Buhari for demonstrating his sincere wish for the people of the region.
He said the option of allowing modular refineries to be located in oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta region speaks volume of the sincere intentions of the present administration towards the Niger Delta youths.
Rifus added that the tour of the oil communities by the Acting President had shown that the Federal Government was committed to the development of the region.
He noted that the decision to allow the oil bearing communities to legally operate modular refineries was the best thing that has happened to the people, describing it as a welcome development.
Prominent political and traditional leaders from pre and post-independence period, elderly diplomats and legal lumineries have converged in Abuja to celebrate the golden jubilee of the death of Isa Wali.
Mr Wali, considered as a close confidant, friend, brother and father by many during his lifetime, was a Nigerian diplomat from Kano who served as the Ambassador to Ghana during the independence of Nigeria.
The 50th anniversary is marked by the Isa Wali Empowerement, an organisation which supports women, youths and children in rising above poverty and economic hardships.
The event brought together dignitaries such as General Yakubu Gowon, Justice Muhammadu Uwais, Alh Maitama Sule, Ambassador Isaac Sagay, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has rescheduled his visit to Ondo State which was earlier slated for Friday.
A statement issued by the spokesman for the Acting President, Mr Laolu Akande, said the trip was in continuation of Professor Osinbajo’s tour of the oil-producing communities, which earlier took him to Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Imo States.
“Professor Osinbajo was already air-borne this morning when weather reports indicated dusty haze and very poor visibility at the Akure Airport and other alternative airports nearby.
“The presidential jet therefore had to return to Abuja, following which the weather condition was closely monitored until about 2:30PM when it became abundantly clear that the situation would not change on time for the Acting President to achieve the purpose of the visit.
“The visit has therefore been rescheduled for Monday, February 20, 2017,” the statement said.
The Presidency extended apologies to the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, the Governor-elect, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, traditional rulers and the people of the state who have been awaiting Professor Osinbajo’s visit.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that job creation, economic empowerment and fight against corruption will remain the focus of President Buhari’s administration.
The Vice President stated this while speaking with a selected group of labour leaders, who stormed his conference room following the demonstration by the union at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Having experienced road block by security personnel at the three arms zone, the labour leaders selected some members of their leadership to head to the seat of government at the presidential villa, to register their protest.
The leaders of the Labour Union expressed concern on the issues of governance and systemic corruption facing the nation.
The VP said, “This administration is committed towards empowering Nigerians irrespective of their status.
“A successful fight against corruption will not be feasible without the support of Nigerians”.