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FG targeting zero militancy by June this year—Minister

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has disclosed that government is working round the clock to ensure zero militancy before the end of second quarter of this year.

Addressing issues during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in Abuja, he said government is also looking at incident reduction in the region by 90 per cent by 2018.

According to him, “We must resolve current militancy problems and bring back oil production to 2.2 million barrels per day.”

While expressing worries over a whopping $40bn that had been spent in 12 years without infrastructures on ground to justify it, Kachikwu said that a lot would have been achieved if there were zeal to collaborate in such a manner.

He therefore urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and other partners to commence immediate action in building sustainable collaboration this regard.

He averred further that there in need to create stability incentive schemes, jobs and investment opportunities, so that the government would look at cross border investments to strengthen the region and grow the economy.

Also to boost due process, the Minister revealed that the apex government is introducing a joint account with oil companies to foster transparency in cash calls and ensure that inflows were clearly understood by all, saying “We are targeting 30 per cent cost savings, which we can link to transparency”.

“What is most important is not the amount of the fund; it’s the conceptualization of that funding.

“Governors will have to come together as a regional block to look at cross-state investments in roads, railways, town facilities or specialist hospitals.

“We are going to pool in energy and ensure we look at cross border investments to strengthen the region.”

Another way to end militancy according to him is to absorb some of the trained ex-agitators in the areas of coastal patrol and Niger Delta paramilitary type organisations.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), (retired) Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh, reaffirmed the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to find a permanent solution to the problems of the region so as to bring sustainable development.

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