• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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FG to establish security directorate for Niger Delta – Ribadu

FG to establish security directorate for Niger Delta – Ribadu

Nuhu Ribadu, national security adviser, has announced ongoing plans to establish a dedicated directorate within the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), on Niger Delta security.

Ribadu made this known at a stakeholders summit organised by the Niger Delta Development (NDDC) in Port Harcourt on Wednesday. He emphasised that the new directorate would allow the Federal Government to address the unique security challenges of the Niger Delta in a more structured and professional manner.

“We are currently working closely with the governors of the region and the Presidency in making this a reality.

“When fully implemented, we anticipate that President Tinubu will likely present policy guidance that will define his security management posture for sustainable Niger Delta development,” he said.

He highlighted the significant contribution of the Niger Delta, which accounts for about 75 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, playing a critical role in Nigeria’s Blue Economy development.

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Represented by Osaretin Grace, a senior adviser in the ONSA, Ribadu underlined the interdependency of Nigeria’s political and socio-economic progress on the stability of the Niger Delta.

“Before 2024, Nigeria was allocated a production quota of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) by OPEC.

“However, the actual production stands at slightly below 1.4 million bpd, leading to a deficit of 400,000 bpd.

“This shortfall is primarily attributed to socio-economic challenges related to security issues like oil theft, pipeline vandalism, harmful artisanal refining activities, sea piracy and youth militancy,” he added.

The national security adviser expressed Tinubu’s deep concerns over the underperformance of federal agencies in addressing the socio-economic issues, stability, and integration needs of the region.

Ribadu stressed the necessity of introducing a collaborative policy and intervention framework given the country’s failure to meet its crude oil production quota.

He said that the proposed policy aimed to resolve the existing conflicts and transition toward a more stable, harmonious, and nationally integrated environment for the people and communities in the region.

“ONSA is presently engaging in consultations, collecting information, and data to assist President Tinubu in prescribing policies and enacting laws to address these issues in a more holistic and coordinated way.

“The policy envisions a string kinetic security approach to deter perpetrators of oil theft, artisanal refining, sea piracy and armed militancy.

“It also seeks to promote a value shift in an ideology, supportive of national harmony and integration,” he noted.

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Hope Uzodimma, the summit chairman and Imo State governor, described the stakeholder’s forum as pivotal for the region’s progress.

Uzodimma, who was represented by his deputy, Chinyere Akimaru, emphasised the necessity of the summit in charting a course towards sustainable regional development.

“NDDC must prioritise environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and economic viability in all regional projects.

“This means investing in renewable energy, protecting natural habitats, and supporting local businesses.

“Efforts should be concerted to combat the poverty and environmental degradation plaguing the region,” Akimaru urged.

Chiedu Ebie, the chairman of the NDDC governing board, stated that the commission has aligned its programmes with Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

He noted that the board had embraced a triple ‘T (Transiting from Transaction to Transformation) strategy to actualise its regional mandate effectively.

According to him, the NDDC management was trying hard to change the commission’s image tarnished by years of unmet expectations.