The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru on Tuesday expressed the determination of the Federal Government to end attacks on oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.
Usani who stated this when he hosted a trade delegation from the United Kingdom in Abuja, assured the investors that investments in the oil rich region are safe and profitable.
He explained that government was working hard to reduce unemployment in the region through infrastructure development and youth empowerment.
While however expressing concern that the government has not been able to complete the nine skills acquisition centres in the nine states of the region, he noted that building the capacity of youths in the region was a priority for the government.
He said: “All the skill centres in the nine states are tailored towards specific skill acquisition training. The infrastructures are reasonably developed but not one of them is completed and no one in use.
“We are conscious of the enormous benefits the centres are supposed to bring to our nation through the youth training programmes. We are handicapped in reasonable terms and there are factors responsible for not completing any of them. However it is a priority for us and we have made request to the presidency to see how best and fast they can be completed”.
The minister said there was the need to shift the orientation of youth from “the practice of what is not morally acceptable towards what is of value essence within the society”.
He explained that though there were certain crimes perculiar to the Niger Delta region such as kidnapping and pipeline vandalism, the government is working hard to eliminate these crimes to make the area conducive for investments and development.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Emmanuel Obasi said they were at the ministry to explore areas where companies based in the United Kingdom can partner with the government to develop the region.