Home Finance FG to take firm stand against criminal gangs and corrupt persons in the Niger Delta situation

FG to take firm stand against criminal gangs and corrupt persons in the Niger Delta situation

by Business News Report

By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editoir
President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday in Singapore said that the federal government will take a firm stand against the criminal gangs and corrupt individuals who are currently exploiting the situation in the Niger Delta for their own selfish gain. The President who break his engagement here in Singapore to return home as a result of the military air crash in Nigeria was represented by the Minister of Finance Mrs Nenadi Usman
Speaking at a well attended luncheon seminar organised by the World Bank for Nigeria, the President told the forum that the problem in the Niger Delta has continued to be a sore point in Nigeria.
He said although “the failure of the past on the part of government, communities and private investors have bequeathed to us a very unfortunate reality, the government continues to be determined to address the genuine problems of the citizens of the Niger Delta, however we will take a firm stand against the criminals gangs and corrupt individuals who are currently exploiting the situation for their own selfish end.”
Continuing President Obasanjo said “Our current initiative on the development of the coastal states of the Niger Delta has attracted wide spread support and reduced violence in the zone. Our Improved fiscal position is providing a unique opportunity to address the country’s huge infrastructure challenges.

According to the president Nigeria is making investment of $2.3billionon 7 gas-turban power plants, $1.6billion on associated investment for upstream gas”.
He said “40 per cent of our $4.2billion capital project is dedicated to power, roads and water supply”
President Obasanjo further told the International community that “in the next 15 months, we expect additional expenditure of $1.5billion on Mambila and Zungeru hydro projects, $3.5billion on railways rehabilitation, and $0.5billion on rural telephony infrastructure backbone.
According to the President a significant portion of the nation’s public expenditure is also focused on human capital development and empowerment to ensure that the common man can perceive and feel the benefits of economic reforms.
He disclosed that about $1billion of the nation’s debt relief savings are being channeled to priority areas to assist in meeting the millennium development goals.
He stated “We are in the process of clearing $0.65billion worth of pension arrears. This year alone, we have a dedicated budget of $0.25billion, $1.25billion and $0.9billion to agriculture and rural development, education and health respectively while $0.2billion was channeled to the payment of local contractors.
President Obasanjo told the International Community that his administration vision is nothing less than to see Nigeria realise her full potential and emerge as one of the twenty largest economies in the world by the year 2020. The Nigeria of the future will take her rightful place as a leader on the African continent and on the world stage. He said we invite you to become partners with us in the development of Nigeria and by extension the African continent”
He declared “ I would not end this address without adding my voice to the very important issue of quota and voice in the Bretton Woods Institutions. Over the years, Africa’s quota and shares have been declining with every review of quota formula.
The current proposal to review the quota formula in the IMF would further reduce Africa’s quota thus further marginalising and eroding the voice of small economies. I believe it would not be in anyone’s interest to have Africa further impoverished, economically emasculated and completely silenced from the global stage.
“In this regard, a pragmatic and political solution appears to be the most viable way forward. Accordingly, I wish to align my views with the call on countries with large shares to voluntarily shed off part of their shares while at the same time protecting quota shares of African countries from further decline. These options, if adopted, would ensure equity, fairness and engender a sense of belonging by African and other small economies as true members of the global institutions and not fringe constituents”.

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