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Niger Delta region  has been described as one of the most polluted regions across the globe. 

The deputy Governor of Delta State, Mr. John Onyeme who made this known while declaring open sixth  Meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta at Government House, Asaba Delta State, called for urgent attention to tackle the challenges of oil spill on Niger Delta Communities. 

Niger Delta region over the years have been bedevilled with the issues of oil spill, environmental degradation and under development.

Efforts have been made to tackle some of these challenges by various stakeholders but the results are  still below expectations .

The Sixth  Meeting  of the National Council on Niger Delta with the theme, Stimulating Strategies for Economic Growth and Development in the Niger Delta Region was put up as part of the measures to tackle the Perenial issues facing the oil rich  region.

Declaring open  the conference that was organized by Ministry of Niger Niger Development in collaboration with Delta State Government and Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Sir Monday Onyeme decried the environmental challenges facing the region due to oil activities in the region. 

Sir Onyeme named other issues facing the region to include, illegal oil  bunkering, pipeline vandalism, environmental pollution and piracy. 

Addressing participants, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Development, Dr. Shuaibu Balgore said  the sixth Meeting of  National Council on Niger Delta was put together to ensure that the issues concerning the region were tackled. 

Dr. Balgore who called on stakeholders to come up with ideas that would stimulate  economic growth  in the region, however regretted that some of the stakeholders  have not been able to implement the Decisions taken during the last National Council meeting. 

On his part, the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku told the council that  NDDC has embarked on several projects in rural communities in Niger Delta region. 

Dr. Ogbuku who maintained  that in most rural communities, NDDC projects are  the only government presence with evidence in construction of  rigid pavement roads,  pipe borne water and schools, said  that the next line of action was connecting the communities to the city centres. 

The Managing Director who explained  that about three thousand youths of the region have benefited from the post graduate foreign scholarship programme, told the participants that Project HOPE initiative was launched to set up a database of unemployed youths from where selection would be made for training in line with each person’s choice of trade. 

According to him,  a chamber of commerce would be set up in partnership with Bank of Industry to support small scale businesses and make the youths self reliant. 

The MD who emphasized Public private partnership, noted that projects such as twenty six kilometres  Ogbia Nembe road was done through partnership. 

According to the MD, talks were  on with both  chevron and NLNG for similar projects in Warri and Bonny,  to open up adjourning communities for economic growth. 

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