Economy

FG pledges to address oil and gas infrastructure vandalism

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio


The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, says plans are underway to create a reorientation programme to train youths in skills to address oil and gas infrastructure vandalism.

Akpabio said this at a Town Hall Meeting on “Protecting Oil and Gas Infrastructure” organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, the programme will target pupils and students of primary and secondary school levels across the nine states in Niger-Delta.

“We are meeting with stakeholders, traditional rulers, youth groups and others from one state to the other.

“We are setting up skills acquisition centres; we are training and empowering a lot of youths in the region at the moment.

“Consequently, the ministry is also in the process of developing a reorientation programme targeted at school children between the ages of 10 and 18 years.

“We believe strongly that we must target these youth groups of between 10 and 18 years because some of them, who are now craving to enter amnesty programme, were seven years old when amnesty was introduced.

“So we want to let them know that they are not just destroying pipelines, ‘federal government infrastructure’ as they may think, but they are actually destroying their own infrastructure and the ecosystem as well as their future.”

According to the minister, the programme aims to develop the right orientation among youths and ultimately lead to the desired peace and progress of the region.

He explained that the project would employ a broad-based approach to guarantee lasting peace and development in the Niger-Delta region through active orientation of youths.

Akpabio expressed the hope that the meeting and dialogue of the stakeholders would result in accelerated progress and sustainable development in the Niger-Delta region.

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