The Federal Government is seeking collaboration with stakeholders for the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes geared towards the general well-being of people in the Niger Delta region.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, while delivering his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 4th National Council on Niger Delta region, tagged: “Achieving Uncommon Development in the Niger Delta: The roadmap and Strategy”
Senator Akpabio revealed that the Ministry had taken steps towards repositioning the NDDC in line with the original mandate of the commission. He added that the ongoing Forensic Audit exercise recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) was aimed at achieving optional utilization of funds and the provision of landmark infrastructure in the region.
In order to engender rapid socio-economic development of the region, and also an inclusive improvement in the living standard of individuals in the region, the Ministry is open to partner and collaborate with relevant agencies, development partners and stakeholders on investment, infrastructure and institutional capacity development to enhance synergy amongst stakeholders.
He explained that the Ministry has initiated the process of harmonization of the Niger Delta Action Plan of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as well as other existing Developmental plans of the region into a Single Regional Plan for the region.
What they are saying
Senator Akpabio speaking at the event revealed that:
“Provision has been made in the 2021 budget estimates towards the completion of the East-West road, which is the flagship project of the Ministry.
“There is no doubt that countless achievements have been recorded in the region in the area of socio-economic development, capacity developments of youths, construction of Housing Estates, provision of Schools, Hospitals, Electricity and Pipe-borne Water in many Communities.
“The Government is committed to sustaining these gains and even do more to improve the living conditions of the people of the region.”
The Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike represented by Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, stated that:
“The Niger Delta region has experienced minimal level of progress as a result of limited resources and technical capacity which has affected the people of the region negatively. NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs have been established as intervention agencies to assuage the yearnings of the Niger Deltans and to drive and meet the developmental needs of the region.
“Though the development crisis in the region is huge and expensive, what is consoling, however, is the fact that with the right approach and political will, the region can possibly overcome all challenges and realize a new and bright era of sustainable development and prosperity for the region and the people.
“As working together with the people for the common purpose remains the key for the progressive path we all want and wish for our region and people.”
The Honourable Minister of State, MNDA, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura stated, in his remarks:
“The Ministry will not relent in its commitment to the development and empowerment of its people in order to enhance the peace and stability of the region.”
What this means
According to the statement made by the Minister, this move to partner and collaborate with relevant agencies, development partners and stakeholders on investment, infrastructure and institutional capacity development to enhance synergy amongst stakeholders, will help to fast track the development of the Niger Delta region through the formulation and implementation of well thought out policies and programmes.
These policies will help to address issues ranging from environmental pollution in the region to the provision of key infrastructure in the region.
Hence, with these strategies and roadmaps, the mandate of NDDC in terms of facilitating rapid socio-economic development of the region, and also an inclusive improvement in the living standard of individuals in the region will be achieved. As the development and empowerment of the people of the region is the gateway to enhancing the peace and stability of the region.