Niger Delta: NGO wants authorities to place emphasis on empowerment projects

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Abuja  – Public Policy Initiative of Nextier (PPIN), an NGO, has urged relevant authorities to place more emphasis on economic empowerment projects to tackle environmental challenges in the Niger Delta.

Mr Charles Achodo, Executive Director of the NGO, gave the advice on Thursday in Abuja at a media workshop on the “Way Forward’’ for the Niger Delta.

He said that the focus on empowerment would enhance capacity building and reduce environmental constraints facing communities in the region.

He said that the region was faced with the dilemma of wealth and riches which had become a source of poverty and environmental degradation.

“The contributions of the Federal and the three tiers of government and other stakeholders can change the story and make a positive way forward in such communities,’’ he said.

Achodo appealed to the international communities and development partners to support local NGOs and community based social institutions operating in the Niger Delta with direct funding to ensure capacity building.

Also speaking, Mr Felix Timipere, Senior Programme Officer of another NGO, Stakeholders Democracy Network, (SDN) blamed the problem of the region on corruption.

He stressed the need to focus on institutional reforms and access to energy, adding that such efforts could reduce corruption and improve accountability and stability in the region.

He pointed out that dialogue and cordial relationship between the government, oil companies and NGOs would enhance security and stability of the region.

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“Such cordial relationship will advance efforts to develop the economy of the region.

“It will also help to reduce oil theft, vandalism of pipelines and impact on environmental issues, power generation and insecurity in the communities,’’ he said. (NAN)