By ANDREW ESSIEN ABUJA
A think-tank within the All Progressive Congress (APC) has praised the Buhari-led federal government over what it described as the remarkable development recorded in the greater Niger Delta region under the administration.
The group under the umbrella of All Progressive Congress (APC) Legacy Awareness and Campaign, while listening the transformational strides so recorded, credited the current administration with the proper kick-off of the Ogoni clean up exercise.
This was contained in a statement released on behalf of the group, by Ismail Ahmed, Lanre Issa-Onilu, Tolu Ogunlesi and Salihu Moh. Lukman in Abuja.
They further stressed that until 2016, there was only one functioning Modular Refinery in the Niger Delta, with a capacity to refine 1,000 barrels of crude oil per day, but today, spurred by the Buhari administration’s new vision for the Niger Delta, there are several Modular Refinery construction projects ongoing across the Niger Delta, all led by the private sector.
“A region well-endowed but left to the negative consequences of mineral exploitation, in particular oil extractive activities, by previous administrations, under President Buhari’s watch, the Ogoni Clean Up has finally kicked off.
“The procurement process for the clean-up commenced in 2018, while the actual remediation commenced in January 2019, with the handing over of the first batch of 21 sites to the selected contractors, for remediation. A second batch of sites was handed over in February 2020. Fifteen sites have now been fully cleaned, while work continues on others.
“In addition to the remediation, the Clean Up project is also rehabilitating old water schemes and constructing new ones across Ogoniland. One of the first tasks in the Clean Up was a water quality assessment in all four local governments that make up Ogoniland. The Project will also make interventions in healthcare facilities and systems in the region. The Clean-Up has so far created hundreds of jobs for locals”, APC- LAC said in the statement.
“The original 1,000 bpd Refinery in Rivers State, which began operations in 2011, has under President Buhari’s watch expanded into an 11,000 bpd facility. In November 2020 President Buhari commissioned the first phase of the Waltersmith Refinery in Imo State. The OPAC Refinery in Delta State has also been completed. The ones in Edo and Bayelsa States are under construction, while Waltersmith has flagged off construction of its second phase.
“One of the biggest investments Nigeria has seen in a while is the Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, in Bonny, Rivers State. More than a decade after Train 6 was completed and launched, President Buhari has in 2021 flagged off construction of Train 7. Until he became President, the project had stalled, the victim of a lack of political will from the previous administration. The Train 7 project will attract around $10 billion dollars of domestic and foreign investment, while creating several thousand jobs, and asserting Nigeria’s place on the global map of gas producing countries.
“Several other investments are ongoing across the Niger Delta, spurred by the relative peace and security being enjoyed, as well as the President’s unwavering commitment to develop the region and help it make up for decades of neglect, pollution and underinvestment. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is developing, among other projects, a pioneering Oil and Gas Park in Bayelsa State, scheduled for completion at the end of 2022. The Park will be serviced by a 10MW power plant.
“The Presidential Amnesty Programme, inherited from previous administrations, has continued to deliver on its mandate, with the full support of the President. The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is being reformed and repositioned, in line with the President’s vision of ensuring that the people of the Niger Delta benefit maximally from the wealth of their land. The Administration has recently completed and commissioned the Commission’s Headquarters, 25 years after construction began, and after several spells of abandonment by previous governments.
“A comprehensive forensic audit of the NDDC has just been completed; the first of such audit since the Commission was established. The President is determined to ensure a clean break from the mismanagement and corruption of the past.
“In terms of physical infrastructure, the 338km East-West Road, running across four States of the region — Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom — is now receiving priority attention, more than a decade after the contract was first awarded. The President is committed to completing the first four sections of the Road by 2022.
“The 39km Bodo-Bonny Bridges and Road project is another landmark infrastructure project being delivered by the Buhari Administration, for the people of the Niger Delta. Comprising several bridges, as well as a road network, it will connect Bonny Island, Nigeria’s gas hub, to Ogoniland on the Rivers Mainland, opening up several once-isolated communities for commerce, investment and development. The project was first conceived in the late 1970s, but all the contracts awarded prior to the Buhari Administration were aborted. President Buhari has finally broken the jinx. Construction started on the project in 2017 and it is now set for completion in 2022”, the statement said.