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Okowa lauds FG over Escravos power projects

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….Says it’s triumph of dialogue

By Etop Ekanem

Deputy Governor of Delta State, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, has said the recent Federal Executive Council’s, FEC, approval of electricity power projects in Escravos and environs in Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state is a toast to the efficacy of dialogue and a sign of better things for Niger Delta.

Okowa

Addressing newsmen in his office in Warri over the development, Otuaro said: “I want to tell you that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led Delta State Government is happy and wishes to appreciate the Federal Government for the gesture. I want to appeal to all stakeholders to provide a conducive atmosphere for prompt execution of the project.”

Otuaro, who noted that the power projects were indicative of the Federal Government’s commitment to adding value to the Niger Delta, said: “The power projects, when completed, will provide a conducive environment for learning in the upwardly mobile educational environment even as it would give great fillip to business activities, which need electric power for their survival.”

Stressing the need for dialogue with government in the quest for development, Otuaro recalled that “the Federal Government/Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in the last administration initiated the Escravos and Environs Power Project following agitations by Ijaw and Itsekiri communities in the Escravos area.”

Otuaro said a steering committee, initially headed by then Vice President, Namadi Sambo; then Ministers for Petroleum and Power (State), Group Managing Director of NNPC, immediate past Governor of Delta State was in touch with Ijaw and Itsekiri community representatives who signed MoU on the project before the Jonathan administration wound up.

The Delta State deputy governor said following resurgence of militancy in the early days of the present administration, the Federal Government swiftly constituted a Presidential Peace Initiative on Niger Delta led by Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who visited the area on fact-finding mission.

According to Otuaro, the Delta State Advocacy Committee Against Oil and Gas Facilities, which he chairs, collaborated with the Osinbajo-led Presidential Initiative and resolved that the Escravos and Environs Power Project will reassure the locals of Federal Government commitment to developing the Niger Delta.

He said: “You’ll recall that the issue of reliable power supply was a demand during the Advocacy Committee visits to oil bearing communities and it is key to the request for Niger Delta’s industrialisation contained in the 16-point demand of Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum, PANDEF.

“We thank the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, the Olu of Warri Kingdom and others whose efforts all added value to the recent formal FEC approval of the project and appeal to all stakeholders to rededicate selves to dialogue towards completion of more projects in the area.”

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