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The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has attributed an increase in oil production in the Niger Delta region to the peace building initiatives of led administration in Bayelsa.

A statement by the Governor’s Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei stated that Dr. Baru made the comment when he led a delegation of top officials of the NNPC to pay a courtesy visit to Governor Dickson, in Government House, Yenagoa.

Baru, who described Dickson as “the one making the difference’ noted that, the Industry would ever remain grateful to the governor for turning around the atmosphere of strife, violence, disunity and endemic interruptions of oil production in the region.

He also said that, the governor intervened to bring about peace and stability, through what he described as the implementation of people-focused policies’ in the areas of education, health care delivery programmes and other manpower development initiatives.

Dr. Baru, who described peace as a necessary condition for development to take place, pointed out that, Governor Dickson’s exemplary peace initiatives had contributed significantly to improved crude oil production.

His words: “We have been discussing with you severally and have seen the good works you are delivering in Bayelsa state especially in terms of peace. It is non-negotiable and more than what money could give. We know the state we found the region when we took over the running of the industry.

We saw the level of disunity and interruption and sabotage that was going on. It took people of your caliber to intervene and the oil and gas industry in Nigeria will forever remain grateful for your good works. We know what the production had been and what it is now.

Without your good works we wouldn’t have gone close that. Not only did you intervene directly with warring factions, you also created employment opportunities, you have been able to mop up a lot of idle hands and put them into good use”.

Responding Governor Dickson said the only way to break the vicious cycle of drug abuse, illiteracy, poverty, militancy and unemployment was through the provision of quality education.

He said his administration had created a mechanism for corporate organizations to make a 5% contribution of their corporate Social Responsibility budget to the State’s Education Trust Fund to adequately fund education.

Governor Dickson, who urged the NNPC to key into government’s initiatives, stressed that, such levies were not double taxation as such intervention schemes would outlive his administration in the overall interest of the state and the Niger Delta region.

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