No administration has paid more attention to the plight of the Niger Delta region like President Muhammadu Buhari, a voluntary think-tank group of the governing party, All Progressives Congress Legacy Awareness and Campaign (APC-LAC) has declared.
The group maintained that Buhari’s resolve for full implementation of his vision of a safe, secure, and prosperous Niger Delta has shot his administration far above predecessors.
This verdict was contained in an assessment report on the Buhari administration’s activities in the Niger Delta region in Abuja by leaders of the group.
They include APC national youth leader, Barr. Ismail Ahmed, APC former national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu and two others.
The group observed that the region has long been left to the negative consequences of mineral exploitation, particularly oil extractive activities, by previous administrations.
It however gave kudos to President Buhari for not only kicking off of the Ogoni Clean-Up project but noted that the administration has cleaned up fifteen sites while work continues on others.
According to the report, “In addition to the remediation, the Clean Up project is also rehabilitating old water schemes and constructing new ones across Ogoniland. One of the first tasks in the Clean-Up was a water quality assessment in all four local governments that make up Ogoniland. The Project will also make interventions in healthcare facilities and systems in the region. The Clean-Up has so far created hundreds of jobs for locals.
“Until 2016, there was only one functioning Modular Refinery in the Niger Delta, with a capacity to refine 1,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Today, spurred by the Buhari Administration’s New Vision for the Niger Delta, there are several Modular Refinery construction projects ongoing across the Niger Delta, all led by the private sector.
“The original 1,000 bpd Refinery in Rivers State, which began operations in 2011, has under President Buhari’s watch expanded into an 11,000-bed facility.
“In November 2020 President Buhari commissioned the first phase of the Waltersmith Refinery in Imo State. The OPAC Refinery in Delta State has also been completed. The ones in Edo and Bayelsa States are under construction, while Waltersmith has flagged off the construction of its second phase.
“One of the biggest investments Nigeria has seen in a while is the Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, in Bonny, Rivers State. More than a decade after Train 6 was completed and launched President Buhari has in 2021 flagged off the construction of Train 7. Until he became President, the project had stalled, the victim of a lack of political will from the previous administration.
“The Train 7 project will attract around 10 billion dollars of domestic and foreign investment while creating several thousand jobs, and asserting Nigeria’s place on the global map of gas-producing countries.
“Several other investments are ongoing across the Niger Delta, spurred by the relative peace and security being enjoyed, as well as the President’s unwavering commitment to develop the region and help it make up for decades of neglect, pollution, and underinvestment.
“The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is developing, among other projects, a pioneering Oil and Gas Park in Bayelsa State, scheduled for completion at the end of 2022. The Park will be serviced by a 10MW power plant.”
Admitting that Buhari inherited the Presidential Amnesty Programme from previous administrations, the group noted it has continued to deliver on its mandate, with the full support of the President.
“A comprehensive forensic audit of the NDDC has just been completed; the first of such audit since the Commission was established. The President is determined to ensure a clean break from the mismanagement and corruption of the past.
“In terms of physical infrastructure, the 338km East-West Road, running across four States of the region — Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom — is now receiving priority attention, more than a decade after the contract was first awarded. The President is committed to completing the first four sections of the Road by 2022.
“The 39km Bodo-Bonny Bridges and Road project is another landmark infrastructure project being delivered by the Buhari Administration, for the people of the Niger Delta. Comprising several bridges as well as a road network, it will connect Bonny Island, Nigeria’s gas hub, to Ogoniland on the Rivers Mainland, opening up several once-isolated communities for commerce, investment, and development.
“The project was first conceived in the late 1970s, but all the contracts awarded before the Buhari Administration were aborted. President Buhari has finally broken the jinx. Construction started on the project in 2017 and it is now set for completion in 2022.
“The very first Water Supply project to be completed by the Buhari Administration, in 2016, was the Central Ogbia Water Supply Scheme, in Bayelsa State. The region’s dream of a Maritime University has also come to fruition under President Buhari, with the licensing and operationalization of the Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, in 2018, and the allocation of a generous take-off grant by the President.
“After close to two decades of false starts, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has seen the light of day, with the signing of the historic PIB into law by President Buhari on August 16, 2021. This is yet another jinx broken by President Buhari.
“The PIA will make available an estimated $500 million annually for host communities to deploy for developmental projects – this is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. Never before has any dedicated fund existed to serve host communities