The first meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta was held at the Le Meridien Hotel, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state from 23rd-26th April, 2013. The second Regular Meeting of the Council, which commenced on 7th September,2017, at the International Centre for Culture and Events (The Dome), Igbatoro Road, Akure, with the theme : ‘Fast -Tracking The Development of The Niger Delta; Options And Prospects’ will end on 14th September, 2017.
The National Council on Niger Delta is the coordinating platform for all development efforts in the Niger Delta. Today, at the opening of the Technical Session, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and the host Governor requested for an approval of licence for the establishment of a Deep Sea Mining Port in Ilaje Free Trade Zone.
Governor Akeredolu added that the development of the Deep Sea Mining Port possesses the veritable potential to turn the Niger Delta areas of Ondo State into a hub of investment opportunities.
Earlier the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, said that the working of a renewed vision has shifted from personal goals to corporate survival. Urging development agencies in the region to work together for the overall goal of development of infrastructure that will enhance the diversification of the economy from Oil alone.
At Igbokoda, the headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Areas, Governor Akeredolu lamented the level of infrastructural deficit, poverty and neglect of the proverbial ‘birds that laid the golden eggs’.
In his words, ” The current agitations which which appear intractable are traceable to the long years of socio -economic dislocation experienced by the people of the Niger Delta Region. The long suffering masses have been left despondent and confused for quite some time now.
“The peasants have simply lost their peasantry. The whole society has been reduced to a pitiable beggarly existence. Fishermen have since abandoned that vocation, the fishes are gone and farmers can no longer depend on the sweat of their brows.
“The land has been laid waste by the exploratory and exploitative activities of those whose sole concern lies in the treasures beneath the land and not the people “.
Many of the stakeholders who spoke at the Town Hall Meeting regretted the high level of projects abandonment and diversification of projects to non mandate areas of the intervention agencies of government.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who represented the President, Mohammadu Buhari assured that the Buhari Administration was more focused and determined to bring the Niger Delta out of its economic quagmire urging youths to give peace a chance.