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Blessing Obarinne, Eleme, River State

The National Council on Niger Delta (NCND) has joined the league of highly reputable stakeholders and groups in the Niger Delta to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment and determination toward the development of the region.

The Council gave the commendation in a communique issued at the end of their 5th meeting held in Uyo, recently.

The meeting of the NCND which was declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister of Environment, Mohammed H. Abdullahi, had as its theme: “Harnessing 21st Century Development Initiatives and Strategies for Greater Development Impacts in the Niger Delta Region”.

In attendance were members of Council drawn from the Nine (9) States of the Niger Delta Region, relevant Federal and States Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Representatives of Development Partners, Traditional Rulers, Host Communities of Oil and Gas, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and International Oil Companies (IOCs).

NCND, which is the highest advisory body to the Federal Government on development policies, programmes and strategies on security issues in the Niger-Delta, specifically lauded the President for his achievements and the enduring peace, his administration has brought in the region since 2015 till date.

The council expressed delight that crime rate has reduced to the bearest minimum and peace restored to the region.

Meanwhile, NCND in the communique, urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to push for the modification of the NLNG Train 7 Project.

The council also urged both the ministry and NDDC to engage relevant stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to canvass for the modification of the project design to accommodate the creation of a South-South Gas Node.

The communique called for local and international investors operating in the Niger Delta region, as well as state governments to submit viable proposals for more road projects geared at “embracing the Executive Order 7 of 2019 on Road Infrastructure Development Scheme in the Niger Delta Region in line with the current Medium-Term Plan 2021-2025 of the Federal Government”.

Similarly, the council approved the establishment of Medical Waste Incinerators and Thermal Desorption Units (TDU) by the Nine (9) States to facilitate treatments of hazardous medical and industrial wastes; the establishment of pilot programmes for water hyacinth/evasive water weeds by the MNDA and NDDC in collaboration with private sector in selected communities impacted by its proliferation.

It also sought the development of a regional policy to address the menace of black soot and other air pollution induced activities; that the MNDA and NDDC should assist the Ondo State Government in the establishment of the Araromi Seaside Deep Sea Port at Olokola Free Trade Zone.

In addition, the council appealed for establishment of private sector driven ferry services in the riverine states to complement road transport; the intervention of MNDA/NDDC and other IOCs in the region in the provision of infrastructural facilities to the Port Harcourt International Trade Complex; and that the next meeting of Council should be held in January 2023, in Delta State.

Our Correspondent recalled that the previous meeting of the Council held December 2020 at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

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