In the face of environmental degradation, unemployment, abject poverty and insecurity in the Niger Delta region fueled by oil exploitation and neglect by the multinationals and government at all levels, the Niger Delta Peoples Movement, NDPM which was formed by Dr. N. B. C Ineneji for Regional Integrity and Development, has given panacea on how to address the issues and bring sustainable development to the region.
The group, in a resolution after an enlarged meeting, recently regretted that the continued failure to address these issues has caused immense suffering to the people of the Niger Delta Region and has also affected the nation’s economy.
According to the resolutions signed by the convener, Mr. Ejiro Ineneji, and made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, among other things, called for the scrapping of the Ministry of the Niger Delta, or alternatively merged it with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to avoid duplication and ensure that resources are pulled together to develop the region.Group Proposes Ijaw Candidates for Secretary to the Delta State Government
They Lamented that funds meant for the development of the region are being looted by corrupt officials in the ministry and politicians to the detriment of the people and development of the region.
Highlighting other panaceas that need to be done as resolution reached at this year’s Unprotected Nations & Peoples Organization (UNPO) General Assembly XVII held in Barcelona, Spain, it reads in paths; “Sustainable Economic Empowerment and Infrastructural Development: The Federal Government of Nigeria must invest in creating jobs and providing opportunities for the People of the Niger Delta Region. The government must provide training and education to the people to help them acquire the necessary skills to be self-sufficient and economically independent.
“Investment in agriculture, fisheries, and other viable industries must be implemented. The Government must also invest in the development of critical infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, schools, and clean water supply, etc. These would help improve the standard of living of the people and attract investors to the region.
“Security: The government must provide adequate security for the People, Properties, Businesses and God’s given resources of the Niger Delta region. This will help address the issues of insecurity and promote peace and stability in the region.
“Environmental Remediation: The government must take immediate action to clean up the oil spills polluted areas in the Niger Delta region. The oil companies, contractors, and associates operating in the region must also be held accountable for their actions and be made to remediate the damage they have caused. This will help restore the ecosystem and improve the health and well-being of the peoples of the region.
“Community Participation: The government must involve the local communities in the decision-making process and ensure that their voices are heard. This will help promote transparency and accountability in the management of the region’s resources.”
They noted that in the Declaration proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations states, Article 7 states that; “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”
This, the NDPM said is a call for the government, oil companies and every local community’s concerted effort in resolving these issues, noting the group will work with every stake holder in the region to work on the recommendations stated above to address the key issues and promote sustainable development in the region.