By Emmanuel Obisue
Overseeing Director in the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Alfred Abah, has disclosed that the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC and the Niger Delta Ministry have both harmonized all the different development plans in the region into a single regional development strategy to synchronize and galvanize the intended rapid and uniform development of the region.
Abah made this known during the opening ceremony of the Technical Committee meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta, NCND, held in Calabar, Cross River State.
In his remarks, he noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to demonstrate willingness to improve the living conditions of the people of Niger Delta region, particularly in the areas of policy enactment, investment, infrastructure and economic development.
The Director explained that the approval of the Strategic Implementation Work Plan, SIWP, by the Federal Executive Council is another dynamic step taken by the Government to drive development in the region.
Abah who chairs the Technical Committee, noted that it is made up of 53 members whose membership cuts across Ministry’s Departments and Agencies, MDA’S, both at the states and Federal level, including development partners and stakeholders with the mandate to prepare all documents and memoranda for consideration and approval of the council.
“The council is structured to function within the thematic areas of infrastructure development, environmental preservation, human capital development, monitoring and evaluation, economic recovery and growth plan are the key focus areas that the council would deal with,” a statement made available by Deworitshe Patricia, Director, Press & Public Relations of the ministry, quoted him as saying.
In his goodwill message to participants of the Technical Committee, the Head of Service, Cross Rivers State, Timothy Akwaji observed the Niger Delta region which is blessed with petroleum and gas deposits; minerals that drive and sustains the nation’s GDP, has for decades been in the news either as the goose that lays the golden eggs or as a region experiencing the storms of environmental consequences of oil exploitation and exploration.
While commending the harmonization of the two action plans of the ministry, he noted that “the Federal Government has facilitated growth and development in the region over the years, such support has not really translated to concrete development in the area”.