Some stakeholders in the Niger Delta region have called for a Gas Flare Trust Fund to manage the proposed gas flare penalty fund to be paid to oil and gas producing communities in the country.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the payment of gas flare penalty fund to oil and gas producing communities in the country.
At a two-day National Conference organised by Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCON) in Port Harcourt, the stake holders also called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the proposed payments.
They decried the continued pollution of the Niger Delta region through gas flaring and called on the government to expedite action on the Ogoni cleanup projects.
The delegates also reaffirmed their support to the leadership of King Alfred Diette Spiff and Prince Mike Emuh.
Meanwhile HOSTCON is set to recruit 10,000 youths for pipeline surveillance in the Niger Delta.
National Chairman of the Organisation, Prince Mike Emuh, who disclosed this at the conference in Port Harcourt said all zonal chapters of HOSTCON have been directed to commence the recruitment of youths for pipeline surveillance.
He also commended youths of the Niger Delta for their resilience and peaceful disposition, adding that with the approval by President Buhari of the four-point demand of the organisation, communities in the region will in no distant time get what is due to them.
He however stressed the need for unity among the various ethnic groups in the region.
Chief Emuh said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will also commence the disbursement of credit facilities to farmers in the region through HOSTCON.
Earlier, declaring the conference opened an elder statesman in Rivers State, Chief Professor Jasper Jumbo, described President Buhari as a friend of the Niger Delta people.
Jumbo said the gas penalty fund will be used to build capacities in the region, adding that entrepreneurial activities through skills acquisition will be given a boost in the region.
He particularly said such neglected areas like agriculture and women empowerment will get due attention in the scheme of things.
He also said HOSTCON was not against the management of the 13 percent derivation fund by governors in the region, but interested only in the development of oil and gas producing communities.
Chief Prof. Jumbo also commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Deputy Senate President, Omo Agege and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Godswill Akpabio for their support to the organisation.
Youth Group Faults Protest Against HYPREP
Following the protest that rock the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP)last Monday by some youth groups in Ogoniland calling for the dissolution of the governing board of the agency,s more groups in the area said the call is not necessary, as it was aimed at querying the pedigree of the Project Cordinator, Prof Neniibarini Zabbey.
In an interview with journalists, the Bodo City Youth Federation led by Joseph Lenu and his executive members said they condems in strong terms the protest led by the President Generalof Ogoni Youth Federation, Mr. Lagborsi Yaamabaana.
Group further warned that the youths would not take it kindly with any groups or individuals that want to undermine the peace and security of Ogoni land at this critical time noting that the organiser of the said Protest should tender an apology to the project coordinator and the Ogoni youths.
Group Distances Self From HYPREP Protest
A concerned group under the auspices of Ogoni General Youth Assembly, has distanced itself from the protest organised by Mr. Legbosi Yaamabaana against the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) last Monday.
The President of the group, Comrade BarinekaTornwe in a statement said the Protest led by Yaamabaana was against the best interest of the Ogonis and would not yield any positive result.
According to him, Yaamabaana, a HYPREP contractor himself, would only be using the sweat and blood of Ogoni youths to push for more expensive contracts”, adding that the said youth leader “Yaamabaan is always on self-enrichment mode and never for the over-all good interest of the Ogoni youths”
Tornwe therefore enjoined all Ogoni youths to avoid him and rather support HYPREP to execute its core mandate of providing alternative source of livelihood to Ogonis through skills training for women and youths.
It would be recalled that recently, HYPREP concluded another training for 3,000 Ogoni youths and women in various empowernment skills, and pledged not to relent its effort in the interest of the people of Ogoni.
The president of the group, further alleged that “It is Yaamabaana’s plan to hijack the central youth training programme from HYPREP and run it a contractor”.
Tornwe however commended HYPREP for what it has done so far on the execution of its mandate, and appealed that it should stay focused on its assignment and not to allow treacherous persons to sway it into the wrong way.
Minister Tasks RSG On Open Defecation
The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof Joseph Terlummum Utsev has called on the Rivers State Government to fulfill it own agreement of ending open defecation by the year 2030.
Prof. Utsev stated this in Port Harcourt during a familiarisation tour to the Niger Delta Basin Authority (NDBA) facilities and projects in the State,
He said eradicating open defecation will improve hygiene, sanitation and health standard of the people.
The Minister explained that the visit was aimed at assessing infrastructure, programmes of the authority required to meet the agenda of President Bola Tinubu in ensuring a better society.
He said toilets must be constructed at motor parks with a view to enthroning hygiene.
“To end open defecation and enthrone hygiene, we need to construct toilets at the motor parks, hospitals, schools and public places to ensure the objective is achieved. So, the Rivers State Government needs to come on board.
“There is a need for us to build synergy between the three tiers of government to ensure that this is achieved.” he said.
The Minister also explained that access to potable water is part of the mandate of the Ministry, and assured that it will be delivered.
. “We are targeting about 500 hectares of land across the country under irrigation. We cannot succeed without completing all our dams that are under construction, ensuring we complete the projects.
“We will engage state governments in allocation of lands, while we provide water for irrigation, the government is supposed to give the Certificate of Occupancy to ensure that the land belongs to the farmers to avoid any issue with the farmers,” he said.
“The government is serious about improving the lives of Nigerians, ensuring food security, wealth creation and youth empowerment”
“Some projects that will drive this have been completed, while some are ongoing, we are determined to complete more projects and initiate new ones.”
It would be recalled that Nigeria currently sits at the top as far as open defecation was concerned.
The country took over from India.
It would also be noted that out of the 36 States in the country, only Jigawa State is open defecation free.
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