06 September, 2017
Akure, Nigeria….Ahead of the Second Niger Delta Council beginning today in Akure, the Ondo State capital, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations in the Niger Delta has called on the Council of Niger Delta to ensure greater openness, transparency and accountability of Niger Delta Institutions (NDIs).
In a press release issued by the coalition and signed by its leaders, Rev. David Ugolor, Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, and Hon. Joel Bisinia, Executive Director of LITE-Africa, the CSOs called on the Federal Government to ensure that the resources from the region are managed in a way that the region migrates effectively into none-oil sector through diversification to other sectors as many Western nations that have been buying Nigerian crude oil will in another twenty years stop doing so.
“The Second Niger Delta Council offers an opportunity for us to begin to think beyond crude oil in the Niger Delta. We should diversify to agriculture, manufacturing and ICT” the group recommends.
“There is the need for transparent and accountable use of all revenues flowing from crude oil to achieve successful diversification through ensuring greater transparency and accountability in the use of oil resources for the people of the region in line with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) which Nigeria signed on to at the London anti-corruption summit in London last year,” the group said.
The group which has its membership drawn from the nine Niger Delta States expressed delight at the level of progress of the Federal Government in engendering peace and development in the region particularly with the very great strides taken by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo even in his capacity as the Acting President, and the Honourable Minister in charge of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru in identifying with the people of the region and progressively addressing the 16-point development requests of their leaders.”
The coalition has in the past three years, championed the quest for mainstreaming transparency and accountability into the workings of some key Niger Delta Institutions such as the Niger Delta Development Commission, Ministry of Niger Delta, the State Oil Commissions and other government agencies through advocacy and policy engagement.