From Nsima Ekere’s Timeline: the week ended for us with three exciting meetings relevant to our objective of driving a new narrative for Niger Delta.
1. The first was a meeting with the executives of Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS); secondly a Niger Delta Inter ministerial Meeting.
2. The meeting with OPTS is to include them in the budgetary process of NDDC so that we are able to carry out relevant projects initiated especially by the IOCs and OPTS within the host communities where their major operations are.
3. OPTS contributes a major portion of NDDC budgetary allocation. It is only fair that they know how their monies are spent. They can also determine in part where such monies are spent within host communities contributing to the development of the region.
4. The Inter Ministerial Meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the essence of which was to summarize highlights/expectations of his visits.
5. The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Environment, Niger Delta, Petroleum Resource, Works and Housing, Information and Culture and the Presidential Amnesty Office.
6. The meeting reviewed the 20 point agenda of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resource with regards to the Niger Delta and reviewed abandoned projects under the NDDC.
7. The environmental management in the Niger Delta under Federal Ministry of Environment; review of the amnesty programme and the 16 point demands of the Pan Niger Delta Forum.
8. Highlights of decisions taken at the meeting were the need to consolidate the agenda with that of Petroleum, State Govts blue print, amnesty office and NDDC all to be rolled up into one workable plan.
9. Initiate quick win projects that would give a sense of involvement to govt’s approach to handling issues that would impact the people.
10. Organize frequent town hall meetings with all stakeholders and collaborate in building sustainable economic models for communities.
11. Work with NOSREA to Facilitate Niger Delta Clean-Up of other affected areas of oil spill, working on a time frame.
12. As well as encourage IOCs to provide more electric power to their host communities and beyond working with PHCN and DISCOs.
13. NDDC was directed to fast track its ongoing audit of projects awarded in the Niger Delta.
14. NDDC will also direct contractors responsible for abandoned projects to return and recommence work immediately.
15. A 30 day deadline is set with effect from 17 March 2017 by which contractors would be prosecuted.
16. A list of such contractors is being compiled by NDDC in the 9 states, to be collated and submitted to the NDDC for prosecution.
17. Federal Ministry of Environment is to facilitate more awareness on the ongoing Niger Delta Clean Up efforts which has since started.
18. Satellite mapping will be used to identify other polluted areas in Niger Delta and plan for its cleanup.
19. NDDC will work with private sector to set up a Niger Delta Economic Investment Council and a Development Bank.
20. The Development Bank will provide seed capital to young entrepreneurs for startup firms.
21. The 3rd dialogue was with diplomats from the EU which included Dutch Ambassador, Ambassadors to France, Germany, Italy, Poland, US and UK.
22. The Meeting was to ascertain progress of mediatory talks in Niger Delta since VP Prof Osinbajo’s visits
23. We also discussed the issue of providing electricity to host communities and beyond by IOCs operating in the area.