The Acting President, Professor Yemi Oshinbajo gave the assurance during a meeting with stakeholders in Owerri.
Professor Oshinbajo who is on a tour of Niger Delta States said federal government was determined to bring lasting peace to the oil bearing communities. He regretted that many laudable projects awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission in Imo State had been abandoned by contractors handling them.
Professor Osinbajo directed the affected contractors to return to site without further delay or face prosecution.
‘’There is no reason at all while contracts and projects meant for oil producing communities should be diverted elsewhere. We are going to ensure that we hold everybody to account. We must start to address all the concerns of the Niger Delta and all our communities today and the way we can do it is to make sure that we provide the environment for peace so that progress can be made.’’
The Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha while commending the federal government for approving the elevation of Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri to International Cargo Airport appealed for more federal government projects to give the state a sense of belonging.
‘’We have estimated the sum of 35 billion naira as a start fund to address dilapidation in the Niger Delta Area. This estimate will do nothing but at least wipe the tears on their faces. So I request Mr. Vice President you use your good office to support the consolation committee while Imo State Government will show some level of support.’’
A former commissioner in the state, Doctor Goddy Esomodo and the Chairman, Traditional Rulers Council of oil / mineral producing communities of Oguta and Ohaji-Egbema, Eze Sylvester Eze called for the empowerment of youths in the area to help to sustain the peace being enjoyed at the moment.
‘’We have too many youths doing nothing, they are all graduates. Our farms have been battered, our rivers polluted. There is nothing we do in our area to get money. We noticed that about 5 or 6 oil wells were not captured in Imo State.’’
They also called on the NDDC to ensure that projects meant for oil bearing communities were not being diverted.
BY CHINAZO ILECHUKWU