Niger Delta youths caution against neglect, non-implementation of FUPRE Act

Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Efffurun

The Niger Delta Youths Coalition (NDYC) has cautioned against the neglect and non-implementation of the Act establishing the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE), Delta State.

Commending President Muhammad Buhari for signing the Act into law, the group stressed the pivotal role of university, established by government to boost local content in the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy.

Youth President of the NDYC, Comrade Stephen Ohwokirerhuo, said: “As major stakeholders in the progress and development of the country, our founding fathers established FUPRE to train local manpower for the oil and gas sector.”

Implementing the Act, he explained, was crucial to developing the needed high-level manpower for the oil and gas sector taking into account indigenous culture and the need to enhance national unity.

“It will uphold Federal Government’s developmental strides and efforts in the Niger Delta Region and would assure the region that government will intensify efforts and partner with the Niger Delta towards the equitable spread and allocation of resources.

“It will also assure the region that continuous effort is being being made by Government towards ameliorating the deplorable, devastated and environmental degraded region through oil spills that adversely affect the health and other natural resources such as lands and water resources.

“We are, therefore, glad and grateful to the Federal Government for the timely accent to the Establishment Bill resulting in the FUPRE Act and another crucial Act Establishing the North-East Development Commission,” the group said.

It, however, lamented that the Federal Government has not been fair, judicious and prudent in its actions.

The group further stated that while most federal universities have been given a kake-off grants of over N5 billion each, FUPRE has not received its grant, insisting that the development was worrisome, especially for such a specialised university that is meant to train highly skilled manpower for the oil and gas sector.

Ohwokirerhuo added that the North-East Development Commission Act was signed barely a week after FUPRE’s but its implementation was already captured in the 2018 Appropriation Budget to the tune of N45 billion.

He regretted that the implementation of the FUPRE Act was yet to receive any funding and has not been captured anywhere, a situation he noted, was sending the wrong signal of bias in favour of the North over the Niger Delta.

“It is also worthy to note that the Federal Government had earmarked $1billion in the fight against Boko Haram terrorism but it has not felt the need to pacify the Niger Delta region by the implementation of the Establishment Act of FUPRE, the region from which the $1 billion for the Boko Haram project will be derived.

“It is no wonder that the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) lamented such humungous neglect that will ultimately lead to the destabilisation of the region in which it called for the speedy implementation of FUPRE Act,” it stated.

The group, therefore, aligned with PANDEF in appealling to the Federal Government to quickly implement the Act establishing FUPRE, as it would go a long way to pacify the Niger Delta people, as well as prove that the Federal Government has not neglected the region.

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