The Buhari Administration’s Vision for a prosperous Niger Delta – in which the people of the region maximally benefit from the wealth of their land – developed through forthright partnership between the Federal Government, State Governments, Private Sector and Local Communities.
The New Vision for the Niger Delta (NEVIND) is President Muhammadu Buhari’s Peace, Security and Development Agenda for the Niger Delta, the oil-producing region of Nigeria. The New Vision for the Niger Delta was launched in 2016, following engagements with leaders and representatives of the region, under the aegis of the Pan Niger Delta Development Forum (PANDEF).
President Muhammadu Buhari, Inauguration Speech, May 29, 2015: “The Government intends to invest heavily in the projects, and programmes currently in place [in the Niger Delta]. I call on the leadership and people in these areas to cooperate with the State and Federal Government in the rehabilitation programmes which will be streamlined and made more effective. As ever, I am ready to listen to grievances of my fellow Nigerians. I extend my hand of fellowship to them so that we can bring peace and build prosperity for our people.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, New Year’s Day 2017 Message: “We will continue to pursue peace initiatives in the Niger Delta as I again, call on our brothers in that region who have taken to violent disruptions of economic infrastructure to come to the negotiating table.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, February 10, 2017: “We must focus on how to ensure that [the people of the Niger Delta] see the benefits of the land’s wealth. This new vision will define the future of the region.”
Key Responses & Interventions by the Federal Government:
- Presidential engagement with oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari (see key dates)
- Progress with implementation of critical Infrastructure Projects, including but not limited to the China-Exim Bank-funded Coastal Rail project, East-West Road, and the Highway linking Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
- Strengthening of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, by designating it as the Coordinating Body for the New Vision for the Niger Delta
- Directive to contractors to resume all abandoned Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) projects
- Commencement of Ogoniland Clean-Up programme, with inauguration of Governing Council and Board of Trustees in August 2016.
- Approval for take-off of Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta state.
- Extension of, and Presidential approval of additional funding for, Presidential Amnesty Programme
- Launch of Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative (PEDI)
- Increased Budgetary Allocation to Niger Delta Ministry, NDDC, and Presidential Amnesty Programme.
- Investments in Infrastructure: Bonny-Bodo Road and Ibaka Deep Sea Port
- Approval for establishment of Export Processing Zone in Delta State
- Approval for establishment of Modular Refineries
Increased Budgetary Allocation
- N71.20 billion allocated in the 2018 Budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission
- N53.89 billion allocated in the 2018 Budget for the Ministry of Niger Delta, up from the N34.20 billion provided in 2017
Maritime University, Delta State
- The new Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, has now commenced operations, inviting job applications for academic staff.
- President Muhammadu Buhari administration recently approved an increase in the take-off grant from the N2bn earlier announced to N5bn. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly earlier this week, under the Federal Ministry of Education allocation.
- Academic activities are expected to start in the University soon following the completion of the hiring process for professors, readers, senior lecturers, lecturers, assistant, assistant lecturers and graduate assistants to teach in the faculties of Science, Maritime Transportation, Maritime Engineering and Technology, Maritime Environmental Management and General Studies.
- The take-off of the Maritime University was one of the major requests tabled before the Federal Government when the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, went on a series of tour to all the Niger Delta states during the year, following President Buhari’s meeting with leaders of Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) last November.
- In June 2016, the Buhari administration started the implementation of the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland devastated by decades of oil spills.
- An Inter-Ministerial committee on Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) (under the Federal Ministry of Environment) was established.
- HYPREP has since set up structures in place for the final take off of clean-up and restoration of the region devastated by oil spills. This shows the commitment of the FG to restore the region.
- 8 Companies engaged to conduct Demonstration Clean-up Exercises in the 4 Local Government Areas of Ogoni Land, to enable HYPREP select the best and most suitable technology for the remediation work. These Demonstrations were recently concluded; the results are being studied by the Governing Council of the Ogoni Clean-up Project.
- HYPREP has also trained 15 indigenous Ogoni scientists on environmental assessment remediation.
- HYPREP assessed existing water facilities in Ogoni land in line with the UNEP recommendation report that potable water be provided for Ogoni following pollution of water sources in region by oil spills.
- Health impact assessment study to be done to ascertain whether there is a link between some disease patterns and oil pollution in the affected communities.
- Bids have been invited for consultancy on provision of water, health study and environmental remediation.
- Investment in Ibaka Deep Sea Port: The Federal Government has budgeted N1 billion towards the development of Ibaka seaport in Akwa Ibom.
- Investment in Bonny-Bodo Road Project: The N120 billion Bonny-Bodo road project was flagged-off in October 2017 by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. The 34-kilometre road project, linking Bonny Island to the mainland was first mooted about 40 years ago. The Bonny-Bodo bridge and road project is a Public Private Partnership arrangement jointly funded by Nigeria LNG and the Federal Government, in which the Federal Government and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (NLNG) will each bear 50 percent of the N120.6 billion that it will cost to complete the project. When completed, the 34-kilometres road would connect several major communities in the Niger Delta region and boost socio-economic development and improve the lives of people in the Niger Delta region.
- Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Delta State. The Federal Government approved the establishment of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) comprising the Gas City Project at Ogidigben, and the Deep Seaport in Gbaramatu, Warri South-West local government area, Delta State.
- The objectives of establishing modular refineries in the Niger Delta region include the following: to create a robust domestic refining sector necessary to meet and exceed the full capacity of national demand, address the proliferation of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta, and attendant environmental degradation, and to provide jobs for unemployed youths in the region.
- 13 out of 35 applications have reached what is known as the LTC (License to Construct) stage.
- Two out of these 13 refineries are almost ready for shipment. Consideration for Customs duty waiver and some form of tax holiday also underway.
- Government is also working with Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF), Bank of Industry (BOI), AfrExim Bank, and Nigerian Content Development Management Board to address the issue of lack of financial capacity on the part of the local partners (Local partners are expected to come up with a minimum of 15% of cost as counterpart funding).
Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP):
- The Presidential Amnesty Programme engages ex-militants and youths from the impacted communities in formal education, vocational skills acquisition and empowerment schemes.
- The 2018 budgetary allocation for the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme is N65 billion.
- 21,615 beneficiaries have so far been trained, out of which 4,079 have been empowered.
- PAP has empowered 4,079 ex-militants through the establishment of businesses such as agriculture (cluster farms). 3,237 ex-militants are in various stages of Vocational Training and University Scholarship Programmes.
- The Amnesty Office has initiated the training of 10,000 beneficiaries in modern agriculture and established them into 10,000-hectare cluster farms in the nine (9) Niger Delta States.
- PAP modern agricultural schemes are projected to create 80,000 new jobs in three years
- June 2, 2016: President Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, flags-off the Implementation of the UNEP Report on Ogoniland and other impacted sites, aka Ogoni Clean-Up.
- August 4, 2016: President Buhari presides over the Inauguration of the Governing Council and Board of Trustees for the Ogoni Clean-Up.
- November 1, 2016: President Buhari meets with Niger Delta leaders, under the auspices of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), at the State House, Abuja
- January 16, 2017: Vice President Osinbajo visits Delta State
- February 10, 2017: Vice President Osinbajo visits Bayelsa State
- February 13, 2017: Vice President Osinbajo visits Rivers State
- February 14, 2017: Vice President Osinbajo visits Imo State
- March 2, 2017: Vice President Osinbajo visits Akwa Ibom State
- March 6, 2017: Vice President Osinbajo visits Edo State
- March 24, 2017: Vice President Osinbajo visits Abia State
- July 2017: Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative (PEDI) launched