Niger Delta requires N1trn to meet development objective – Minister

Barges laden with stolen crude in the Niger delta creeks07 June 2013, Abuja – The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs requires at least one trillion naira to effectively address infrastructure challenges in the region, its Minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe, said.

Orubebe said this in Abuja while fielding questions from newsmen at the ongoing 2013 Ministerial Platform organised by the Federal Ministry of Information.

He said that the present budgetary allocation to the ministry could only address a few infrastructure-related challenges in the Niger Delta.

He said that the ministry had received just over N200 billion in the past few years and would require an improvement to fast-track development in the Niger Delta.

“If you ask me, I will tell you I will need over a trillion naira for this period but over the period what we have gotten is a little above N200 billion, that is what we have been using for the past two years,” he stated.

On the challenge of disruption of ongoing works in the region by youths, the minister said that the ministry was making efforts to eliminate the trend.

Orubebe said that he has held several meetings with groups and youth leaders from communities in the region to find solutions to the problem.

He appealed to youths in the region embrace peace and give government the opportunity to provide democracy dividends to members of their communities.

In his closing remark for the day, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, urged youths in the region to shun violence and embrace development.

He said that no meaningful development could take place in the region in an atmosphere devoid of peace.

Maku, therefore, urged youths in the area not to compromise peace for anything that would not foster unity in the region.

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