The Rivers State All Progressives Congress, APC, has described the allocation of over N125billion out of the N8.612 trillion Appropriation Bill presented by President Muhammadu Buhari last week to the National Assembly to fund capital projects in 2018 in the Niger Delta region as unprecedented.
The APC in a statement released on Monday in Port Harcourt said the President’s action was also a total demonstration of his unalloyed desire to correct the wrongs the region allegedly suffered in the hands of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, particularly during the regime of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
The statement which was signed by Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the Senior Special Aide on Media and Public Affairs Consultant to the APC Rivers State Chairman, Dr Ibiamu Davies Ikanya, said that the of President Jonathan was a “misfortune for the region as he was alleged to have ensured that no project was situated in the region throughout his infamous six years of ‘lootocracy’.”
Continuing, the party said: “Apart from the N53.89 billion earmarked for Niger Delta Ministry and N71.2 billion for Niger Delta Development Commission for capital projects, the region is also to benefit from the budgetary allocation for the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme retained at N65 billion with the budgetary allocation of N17.32 billion earmarked for the completion of the East-West Road.”
The party noted the inclusion of N5bn in the 2018 budget for the formal take off of the Maritime University located at Okerenkoko in Delta State which they said affirmed the unflinching commitment of the APC-led Federal Government under the leadership of President Buhari to develop the Niger Delta region.
The APC commended the President for his directive for the immediate release of N1billion to the university to support essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment separate from the N5billion take off grant.
“With the commencement of full academic activities of this university the fund will go a long way to assist in the development and emancipation of our region. The party urges our youths to reciprocate this kind gesture by maintaining the peace and avoid playing into the hands of enemies of the region in their evil machinations as they benefit so much from acts of uneasiness in the region,” the party continued.
The APC explained that the region would also benefit from the huge allocations of N555.88 billion for the ministry of power, works and housing, and that of the ministry of Transportation with N263.1 billion plus other ministries as the 2018 budget estimates also contained the extension of Rail line to Warri in Delta State and the completion of the Uyo-Calabar Express Road.
According to the statement, the party expressed its profound joy for the inclusion and full implementation the Ogoni clean-up exercise and the execution of the Multi-Billion Naira Bomu-Bonny road project would open up the economic potentials of the Niger Delta Region beyond the shores of Nigeria when completed.
“These projects will surely open not only the Niger Delta region but attract the elusive investments to the region. Based on this revolutionary trend by President Buhari who has proved that he is a true son of the region, the party after due thought and deliberation on the 2018 budget estimates, rechristened the appropriation bill to ‘Budget of Hope, Peace, Emancipation, and Unity of Niger Delta region.
The APC noted that the Niger Delta region laid the golden egg in which the economy of the country was sustained. It, therefore, pleaded for proper monitoring of spending in the area for any meaningful development to be achieved in order to sustain the peace and security in the Niger Delta for economic and social activities to thrive as well as alleviate the suffering, poverty and environmental degradation inflicted upon the region.