The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has said that over 40 billion dollars had been expended in the Niger Delta region in the last four years.
Kachikwu disclosed this on Friday when he paid a short visit to Chief Edwin Clark in Warri.
He said that the creeks were underdeveloped despite the huge resources.
The minister noted that the problem of the Niger Delta region goes beyond militancy adding that it required short and long terms solutions.
”The short term solution is to bring the people together to have peace while the long term solution is to see how we can develop the region.
”I will be part of dialogue team as soon as I get back I will put apparatus in place.
”The president is very emphatic about peace in the region,” he said.
Kachikwu called for a collective approach to addressing the issue.
He also urged the leaders in the Niger Delta region to unite and speak with one voice like the Yoruba and other tribes in the country.
”I am not looking at ceasefire but a permanent peace in the Niger Delta.
”When there is destruction we suffer environmental losses.
”We just raised about 80 billion dollars from China, a lot of it will be channel into gas, and it can’t work if there is no peace.
”The topography of Niger Delta is a wonder to be hold and if we cannot in our life time do something about it, we have failed God,” the minister said.
In attendance were: former governor of Delta, Prof Amos Utuama, traditional chiefs in Delta and among others,