Akpabio Charges Stakeholders In The Extractive Industry To Imbibe Human Rights.

Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Sen. (Dr.) Godswill Obot Akpabio, (CON), has urged Stakeholders operating in the extractive industry in the Niger Delta Region to embrace the Principles of Promoting Security and Human Rights in their business environment.

The Minister gave this advice during a meeting he held with the Embassy of Switzerland delegate members of Nigeria Working Group on Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs), on Tuesday, 25th February, 2020 in Abuja.

While commending members of the Working Group, Obong Akpabio noted that whether the principle was voluntary or not, it was necessary for all Stakeholders to imbibe the principle in order to promote security and Human Rights. “It is an initiative we need to support to ensure that they become part and parcel of our culture of doing business, particularly in the Extractive Industries operating in the Niger Delta region”, he said.

Still on the benefit of imbibing the principles of security and human rights, the Minister acknowledged that most conflicts experienced in the region were due to the high handedness of the Interventionist Agencies, which tended to escalate the conflicts. Sen. Akpabio observed that if good working ethics were taught to security personnel, it would go a long way in reducing conflicts in the region and Nigeria.

He advised the group to liaise with the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Ministry of Justice, so that the principles could be fully embraced to promote peace and security.

The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adesola Olusade, in his remarks stated that the Hon. Minister and Management team of the Ministry had been working to ensure that the region strived in the atmosphere of peace and security to promote development in the region, adding that, with the Minister’s passion for the principles of security and human rights, a representative from the Ministry would join the working group as a member.

Earlier in his speech, the Head of delegation Mr. Baba Tunde Ajala, explained that the group which comprise of Governments, Nigeria Government Entities, Companies, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) etc was geared towards promoting the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human rights.

Mr. Ajala said the organization is a multi stakeholder initiative, which has the objectives of ensuring that security arrangement of extractive industries respects human rights in their host communities, despite the security challenges they are encountering. “The whole essences is to admit the fact that security is needed for their operation, but it also recognizes that the security must be within the framework that would respect human rights”, he stressed.

He added that the voluntary principles is aimed at ensuring that when public security personnels are engaged, they are trained to ensure that their activities minimize the possibility of violating the rights of people which may result in community unrest. “If well implemented it is a collaborative framework to bring about peace, help the business environment and help the security situation while everybody is working together to address the issues”, he noted.

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