The Federal Government is to set aside $25 billion (about N4trillion) for investment in transport and energy sectors in Nigeria.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced this at the 4th Niger Delta Development Forum in Asaba on Tuesday.

Osinbajo said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was committed to partnering with the private sector to reduce poverty in the country.

According to Osinbajo, the money is being set aside to empower the youths and alleviate poverty.

He said: “We will not measure how well we have performed by macroeconomic indicators but by how many millions of Nigerians we are able to ring out of poverty.

“So, collaborating with the private, we will impact the youths through agriculture, information technology and skills development in other areas aimed at reducing unemployment in the country.’’

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He urged those concerned with the development of the Niger Delta to protect and instigate development in the region.

He urged the private sector operators to explore the opportunities in the energy/power sector to drive the small and medium scale enterprises.

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta said although the country was passing through “turbulent time’’, the region would benefit if they see it as an opportunity to diversify.

He asked the forum to provide an overview of the state of natural resource exploitation in the Niger Delta.

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He sought advice of organisers to deepen the collaboration between the private and public sectors in addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Prince Eze Madumere, Deputy Governor of Imo State, asked NDDC and other sectors charged with the development of the region to rise to their responsibilities.

He said oil exploration had not rightly impacted the people, especially those in Imo state.

Mr Sam Daibo, Executive Director, PIND Foundation, said the forum was to proffer solutions to the various challenges militating against development in the region.

He thanked the USAID for partnering with the foundation and called on other development partners to take advantage of the forum to bring development to the region.

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Mr Michael Harvey, USAID-Nigeria Mission Director said the future of the Niger Delta laid in the hands of its people and its leadership.

According to him, there are numerous opportunities begging for exploitation in the region.

He said USA was willing to collaborate with the people to develop the area.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osinbajo was represented at the occasion by Mr Dan Abia, Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The forum, organised by PIND Foundation, in partnership with USAID-Nigeria, had Collaborative Efforts for Stimulating Investment and Inclusive Economic Growth in the Niger Delta, as theme.

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