The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Usani Uguru-Usani, said on Friday that the Federal Government would continue to dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers, insisting that it was the best option to end pipeline vandalism in the country.
Uguru-Usani said this at the opening ceremony of a retreat for top management staff of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in Calabar.
Accoring to him, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is doing all it can to dialogue with the militants in the Niger Delta creeks in order to end the destruction of oil facilities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the retreat is `The Niger Delta: Building Partnership for Development’.
Uguru-Usani said that the objective of the retreat was to ensure that the ministry actualised its mandate.
The ministry was established as a response to the peculiar circumstances of the Niger Delta region, he noted, adding that the retreat would enable it to review its strategy and chart a way forward for development.
“Every nation, every successful government must listen to the agitations of the people.
“We must keep talking, listening to the people and making appropriate response for sustenance of development and peace.
“New challenges have informed us to refocus and re-address our strategies and that is why we are here today.
“We have brought in people from different development partners to brainstorm together so that we can achieve that policy focus,” he said.
Also speaking, Prof. Cladius Omoleye-Daramola, the Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, said that the retreat was organised to fashion out ways of moving the ministry forward, in view of the present challenges.
On the Oron-Calabar federal road, Omoleye-Daramola said that the previous sketch of the road was wrong, adding that the ministry has designed another sketch and would commence work as soon as funds were released.
“The former sketch was designed to enter Calabar city, and this would destroy a lot of structures.
“We have re-designed the sketch to avoid destruction of many structures,’’ he said.