Alaibe: If FG Tackles Militancy, There’ll Be No Need To Obtain Loan For 2017 Budget
Timi Alaibe, a former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), says if the rights steps are taken in the Niger Delta, federal government will not need to rely on heavy borrowing to fund 2017 budget.
Speaking as a guest on Arise Television, Alaibe blamed the resurgence of militancy on lack of infrastructure in the region.
He said the visit of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to communities in the Niger Delta showed that the current administration was willing to work with stakeholders in the region.
“We really may not have to resort to heavy external borrowing to fund the 2017 budget once the right steps are taken by the administration in the Niger Delta,” he said.
“It is in this light that I commend the on-going peace and fact-finding shuttle of the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to states and communities in the Niger Delta.
“It is a very good thing and it is an indication that this administration is keen on working with leaders of the region to implement the 16-point agenda for the Niger Delta submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari late last year.
“If you have massive infrastructure, if you have good roads and bridges to open up the Niger Delta you will not have the recurrence of incidences of militancy in the region.”
He explained that the amnesty programme derailed when the Jonathan administration stopped at the implementation of just one component of the programme.
The former NDDC MD said other components of the amnesty programme included the clean up of the communities which had been degraded and ways communities could have stakes in oil and gas exploration.
“What you refer to as the Amnesty Programme today was originally designed to have five broad areas of focus, namely the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of ex-agitators who accepted the offer of amnesty,” he said.
“There was the infrastructure development component, which was supposed to address the huge infrastructure deficit in the zone; there was the environmental remediation component, which was to address the much needed clean up of communities that have for decades suffered pollution and other environmental challenges stemming from the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas.
“There was an aspect that was supposed to help work out ways communities can have stakes in oil and gas exploration and production and of course aspects of the original amnesty package offered communities the opportunity to gainfully participate in pipeline surveillance and protection.
“The opportunities were huge but the past administration implemented just the DDR component.” -TheCable