National Council Wants Harmonised Master Plan for Niger Delta
The National Council on Niger Delta has resolved to mobilise key stakeholders to commence harmonisation of the Niger Delta Action Plan and the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan to produce one regional road map for development in Nigeria’s oil-rich region.
This was one of the decisions taken at the end of the fourth Meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta, hosted by the Rivers State Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.
The Chairman of the
Council and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who read
the communique, underlined the need for collaboration among stakeholders in the
effort to develop the Niger Delta region.
Akpabio, the council resolved that there was need for the Ministry of
Niger Delta Affairs to improve on its coordinating role in dealing with all
actors in the region to enhance synergy and avoid duplication of projects.
He said that the council
noted “the importance of strengthening the mechanism of monitoring and
evaluation of the projects by stakeholders to ensure transparency.”
The council, he added,
stressed the need to involve the various communities at the stages of project
conceptualization, planning and execution, to ensure their buy-in and
The communique decried
the proliferation of youth groups in the region, which makes it difficult for
the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to manage them for the purposes of
empowerment trainings, noting: “There is need to ensure that efforts are made
to bring about attitudinal changes among the youths through intensive and value
re-orientation programmes. There is need to ensure that the youths acquire
skills, attend trainings and take advantage of the numerous socio-economic
programmes of the Federal Government.
Akpabio said: “Never in
the history of our great country has any President thought of the poor like
President Muhammadu Buhari has done. That is why almost all his programmes are
aimed at putting money in the hands of the poor.
“The Niger Delta region
has benefitted immensely from these programmes. He has maintained the Amnesty
Programme, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Niger Delta Development
The council further
resolved to push for more infrastructural development and environmental
remediation. It approved that the current clean-up in Ogoni be extended to
other oil-impacted communities in the Niger Delta region.
Akpabio said that the
Council also resolved to seek alternative sources of funding for the completion
of the on-going capital projects in the region.
Earlier, while declaring the meeting open, President
Buhari accepted to implement the 16-point agenda outlined by the Pan-Niger
Delta Forum, PANDEF, as minimum conditions for peace and stability as well as
development in the region.
He said the government was ready to implement the
16-point agenda in order to sustain the relative peace in the region, noting
that the outcome of the Federal Government’s engagement with elders in
the region have provided his administration the opportunity to ascertain the
diverse needs of the region’s stakeholders.
The President was represented by Senator Akpabio at
the Council Meeting, which had the theme: “Achieving Uncommon Development in
the Niger Delta: Roadmap and Strategy.”
Charles Obi Odili
December 19, 2020.