The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, has pegged the slow pace of remediation of polluted areas of the Niger Delta region on the scarcity of funds.
Pastor Usani said this, yesterday, in Abuja when the new Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Mr. Fiorillo Lorenzo, visited him. He said that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was not unaware of the urgent need to check the effects of pollution in the Niger Delta region but was constrained by other pressing demands of the country.
He called on the new Managing Director of NAOC to make the clean-up of polluted areas in the Niger Delta region one of the priorities of his company. He added that the Ministry was willing to collaborate with it on the development of the region.
The Minister, who expressed appreciation of the oil company’s previous efforts in developing the region, urged it to abide by the Ministrys Strategic Implementation Work Plan that is geared towards the avoidance of duplicity of projects by its development partners.
In his remarks, Professor Claudius Omoleye Daramola, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, urged the Managing Director to evolve ways of helping the Federal Government curb the issues of oil spillage and youth restiveness as they were some of the challenges of the region.
The Minister of State also urged management of Nigeria Agip Oil Company to make provision for aged and retired Niger Deltans.
While speaking, Mr. Fiorillo Lorenzo said that the visit was part of his familiarisation visit to development partners and stakeholders of the Niger Delta region on assumption of duty. He promised not to renege on the efforts made by his predecessors to develop the region.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, urged the company to maintain good communication with the Ministry especially on its efforts to develop the Niger Delta region.
There is also need for proper linkages of stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.