Posted by News Express | 29 May 2017 | 1,341 times
Mr Kennedy Tonjo-West, a Non-Violent Youth leader in the Niger Delta, on Sunday gave credit to the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt.-Gen Gabriel Olorunshakin, for curbing renewed agitation in the region that threatened oil output.
He also applauded the military for the successes recorded in the North-East in degrading the capacity of Boko Haram terrorists and recovery of territories once controlled by them.
Tonjo-West, President of Niger Delta Non-Violent Youths Leaders Assembly, gave the commendation in an interview session in Yenagoa.
He attributed the existing peace in the region to the deployment of competent personnel to the region by the military high command.
“Credit must go to the military helmsmen for their strategic approach which has curbed the renewed militancy that adversely affected oil production and the economy of the nation.
“The Joint Task Force was restructured and under the Command of Rear Admiral Sulemen Apochi, the region has returned to peace due to the effectiveness and efficiency of the military.
“As Non-Violent youths, we are pleased because the era of attacks on oil facilities created fear among residents and scared away investors which the region need badly to make economic progress,” Tonjo-West said.
He called on Niger Delta youths to shun violence and close ranks with the Non-Violent Youth Leaders Assembly to leverage on the existing peace and work with the federal government in resolving the Niger Delta question.
Tonjo-West who is also Senior Special Assistant to Bayelsa Governor on Niger Delta Youth Matters commended federal government’s initiative to establish modular refineries to drive development of the region.
He observed that implementation of the policy on modular refineries will check oil theft and create jobs for residents in the region and give them a sense of belonging in the oil and gas industry.
Reacting to the recent approval of 56 modular refinery licences by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the youth leader observed that the process excluded the Niger Delta region.
According to him, stakeholders in the region were not consulted whilst licensing rounds went on and said that the region hopes on the pronouncements by Vice President Osinbajo’s pledge to integrate the region using the modular refineries.
He however advised the federal government to consider mini modular refineries for the operators of artisanal refineries who may not afford the capital required the set up and run modular refineries.
Tonjo-West further advocated for a capacity building and empowerment scheme for operators of artisanal refineries using the model of the amnesty scheme for ex-militants.
According to him, granting pardon to the operators of artisanal refineries would enhance the existing peace in the region and pave way for investors that fled the region to return.
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