As the stakeholders tackle one another over government’s gas flaring deadline, the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Uffot Ekaette, has charged Netherlands government to take steps to ensure that, , one of its oil giants operating in the Niger Delta Shell Petroleum Company, complies with government’s deadline on gas flaring. The minister spoke in Abuja last week, when he received the Dutch Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr. A.C.A. Van der Wiel, in his office.The minister’s comments coincides with an assurance by a group in Delta state, the Youth Development Initiative (YDI). That gas flaring will end in Delta state by December 2009.The YDI president, Chief Westham Adehor,gave assurances last weekthat gas flaring would end in Delta State by December following plans by the state government to convert gas to energy. Chief Adehor, who was a Special Adviser to former Governor James Ibori on Community Affairs and currently Chairman, Board of trustees, Urhobo Monitoring and Development Group (UMDG),gave insight that that some foreign experts in charge of the project are due in the state soon. Giving further insight into what transpired between the minister and the Dutch Ambassador, the Deputy Director in charge of Press, in the Ministry, Mr Fidelis Osammor disclosed the Ministry’s intention to organize a broader and enlarged stakeholders meeting with oil multinationals operating in the Niger Delta, to drive home its determination to demand social responsibility in their operations.According to Osammor, the minister called on the Netherlands government to bring pressure to bear on Shell, which is a Dutch company, on the need to contribute to the eradication of gas flaring in Nigeria.”The Minister stated that Nigerian government attaches much importance to the Gulf of Guinea Energy Security Service (GGESS) meeting and is anxious to see that it is revitalized.”In this regard, there would be need to re-examine and restructure the GGESS meeting taking into consideration security, money laundering, etc are topical issues and Nigeria would use such platform to tackle the security challenges in the Niger Delta.Speaking earlier, Ambassador Van der Wiel praised the Nigerian government for creating the Niger Delta affairs Ministry, but called for a white paper on the report of the Technical Committee on the Niger Delta.Delta is not an oil and gas state, but maritime – Chamber president President of the Warri Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (WACCIMA), MR. Edema Abrakata has said that the resources of Delta is maritime-based and not in oil and gas. Abrakata, who made the remark in a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Effurun in Delta, said that the economy of the state was export-oriented. He said that unfortunately, it was for now only a one-way traffic, as “we are only importing and not exporting” and commended the state government for its initiative to transform the Koko Port into an Export Processing Zone (EPZ).
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