East-West Road to be completed in December 2014- Orubebe

Godsday Orubebe

More oil produced after implementation of the amnesty programme in the Niger Delta.

The Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe, on Thursday said the ministry, through peace efforts, has helped increase oil production in the country.

Speaking at the second round of the 2013 Ministerial Platform in Abuja, Mr. Orubebe noted that oil production, currently at about 2.5 million bpd, was just at about 700,000 bpd before amnesty programme for Niger Delta militants.

He said that though youth restiveness and insecurity have been greatly curbed, disruption of ministerial projects by the youth was still a major concern leading to discontinuation of projects.

Mr. Orubebe also said the Niger Delta ministry has overtime, trained 706 non-militant youth across Niger Delta states in skill acquisition and most of the trainees are now gainfully employed.

He emphasized that the Nigerian government at all levels cannot provide adequate financial resources needed to tackle challenges in the region as the ministry is dealing with budgetary constraints. He said the ministry in collaboration with development partners have produced the Niger Delta Action Plan with focus on infrastructure, social sector investment programme, institutional capacity development and multi-stakeholder trust fund.

Counting his achievements, he said that the East – West road among some other road projects contracted in 2006 which was handed over to his ministry at a 10 per cent completion stage in 2010 is now at 52 per cent completion. He assured 100 per cent completion of the road by the end of December 2014 in addition to 360 housing units at 65 per cent completion.

Also presenting his score card, Emeka Wogu, Minister of Labour and Productivity said the ministry responded to contemporary global and national challenges by providing employment policies and services; promoting productivity and competitiveness; building consensus on emerging labour issues for effective labour inspection and; social security systems largely influenced by international labour standards and diplomacy as embodied in the ILO conventions and recommendations.

Mr. Wogu stated also that the ministry has addressed the issue of relativity in the salaries of Federal Civil Service Employees resulting to an increase of 53 per cent in the salary of Federal Civil Servants plus a new national Minimum Wage Act signed into law within the period under review.

Other achievements include the construction of nine MDG/NDE skills acquisition centers in each of the three Senatorial Districts in Akwa Ibom, Ondo and Nasarawa States as well as rehabilitation of 10 Agricultural skills Training centers in 10 different states.

Also speaking, the Minister of Information, Labran Maku, revealed that the Federal Government has been committing resources to help the Niger Delta get additional infrastructure. He said that the just concluded Nigeria Good Governance Tour in the Niger Delta revealed that the region is witnessing great progress like never before, since 1960. He also highlighted the increase in civil servants salaries, attributing it to the efforts of the president and Mr. Wogu.

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