By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
Federal Government has unfolded plans to address the issues confronting the Niger Delta with a pledge to inject the sum of $10b into addressing the infrastructural gaps in the region. Currently, President Muhammadu Buhari is reviewing the application of 13 per cent derivation allocation to the oil producing states.
Making the disclosure was the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, in Abuja on Friday in a press briefing after the president launched the sectors policy tagged: “The 7 Big Wins.”
He explained that the Federal Government will be appealing to the state governors who have now taken the allocations as their main budgeting tool to channel the funds to the core areas where oil is produced.
“The president is also reviewing the proposal we gave him to look at how the 13 per cent derivation is applied. Right now it is a budgeting tool for state governments. We are going to be appealing to them to begin to put that into the core areas of the oil producing communities. And not just see it as a budgeting number.”
According to him, in order to tackle the lingering crisis in the region, the president, the minister from the states and security chiefs would on Tuesday meet with about 50 leaders of the Niger Delta.
He noted that the Federal Government would be launching a $10 billion infrastructure rebirth programmes in the region in installments.
The minister noted that the fund which will be released in installment will not come strictly from the Federal Government,’ but also from individuals, interested international organizations and state governments.
Kachikwu said that the Niger Delta State governors will have to meet to decide which cross boarder infrastructure the fund would be expended on.
His words: “Finally, we are also launching $10 billion infrastructural rebirth investment programmes in the Niger Delta region .
This is not money that is going to come strictly from the federal government. It is going to come from investors, individuals, who are ready to do private sector infrastructure, obviously states and federal governments as the case may be and international organizations who have shown interest to help.
“What is more important is not the number but the conceptual alizarin of the process. It is a fact that governors will have to come together from the region to begin to look at cross state invests whether there will be railways, whether there will be power facilities, whether there will be specialist hospitals or whatever.