The Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), has urged ex-agitators in the Niger Delta region to work with communities in protecting national economic assets.
Boroh made the call in a statement signed by Ms Stella Inametti, Media and Communication Department, PAP, on Friday in Abuja.
He asked them to safeguard oil and gas pipelines as well as other public installations located in the region.
Boroh, who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, made the appeal at a town hall meeting with key stakeholders from across Ijaw communities in Olodiama Clan at Gelegele Community in Ovia North Local Government Area of Edo.
He said in line with the Federal Government’s new vision for the region, the amnesty programme, which is in its reintegration phase, has succeeded in bringing peace and stability to allow for sustainable development to take place in the region.
He maintained that the federal government is committed to the sustainable peace and development in the region.
He said that the involvement of youths in the security and surveillence of oil and gas installations is aimed at ending incessant attacks on the facilities in the region.
The PAP coordinator said that the modalities for the formal engagement of youths in oil and gas pipelines security, among other national economic assets in the region, were being discussed at very high levels of government.
He disclosed that the schedule for sensitisation of stakeholders on the security of pipelines was also being worked out by the appropriate government agencies for implementation soon.
The presidential aide said that the feasibility study for a National Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, in line with the United Nations-Paris Agreement on Gas Flare.
He said that the first phase of the programme would focus on 48 identified onshore gas flaring sites in the region.
According to him, the programme is intended to convert gas being flared into both cooking and electricity, among other industrial uses.
Boroh explained further that “through the programme, about 6 million households in the region will have access to clean energy.
“It is projected to create 25,000 direct jobs and 300,000 indirect jobs through the multiplier effect. The programme is a private sector driven one and investors are encouraged to key into it.
“The Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum will kick start a road show to sensitise stakeholders on the programme in September,” he explained.
On the establishment of community-based mini modular refineries in the Niger Delta, he said the Minister of State on Petroleum would soon do a road show to sensitise the people of the region on the new policy direction of the initiative.
Earlier, in their welcome address jointly presented by the Ama-Okosuwei of Gelegele Gbene Community and Edo State Chapter of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) on behalf of the Pere of Olodiama Kingdom, Alawei Kororo, the Alagbalabinafa III and all Ijaw Communities in Edo State, thanked President Muhammandu Buhari for sustaining the Amnesty Programme.
Kororo said Ijaw communities in Edo have been denied fair share in the scheme of things by previous administrations.
He decried the visible absence of both federal and state governments’ presence in the area, in spite of the natural resources that are found in Ijaw communities in Edo.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Gelegele community, Mr Milton Dennis, and the Women Leader, Mrs Ayodele Osia, thanked the presidential aide for donating borehole to the community, describing the gesture as the first of its kind in the area.
The high point of Boroh’s visit to the coastal Ijaw communities in Edo was the offer of prayers for president Buhari and the amnesty boss by Kororo, donation and commissioning of a borehole to Gelegele community by Boroh.
Recall that the amnesty office provided the Gelegele community with a borehole with overhead tank as a mechanism for conflict resolution.
It will also form part of the peace building effort and confidence building measures of the federal government to achieve peace, stability and economic development in the Niger Delta region.