Government to unveil development agenda for Niger Delta
The plan for an integrated development of the physical and human development of the Niger Delta would be unveiled soon, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr Paul Boroh, has disclosed.
The Special Adviser, who stated this during a meeting between the Inter-Agency Committee on the Niger Delta and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), added that the blueprint would target ending militancy in the troubled region.
Boroh stated that far-reaching consultations are going on and the governors of the states in the region and other critical stakeholders would be consulted for inputs into the blueprint before it is released.
He said: “We are here discussing critical issues concerning the Niger Delta region and all we want to achieve is to come up with a working plan, like a masterpiece developmental plan for the Niger Delta region. The plan would be inclusive of peace, security, stability and development. It is a process that is on-going and within the next four weeks or thereabout, the blueprint would be out for public consumption.”
In his intervention, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said the team working on the blueprint would come out with a clearly defined roadmap for closure of militancy in the Niger Delta region and the beginning of concerted development of the region.
Kachikwu, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Niger Delta, Mr Charles Achodo, stated that changing the narrative of the Niger Delta region from militancy to development is the critical challenge facing the country and is a challenge that the Federal Government had taken on, together with all the heads of the agencies and Ministers of Niger Delta, Environment, Petroleum Resources, and Power, Works and Housing.
He said: “All these efforts required us drawing substantially from the assets and resources of the various Federal Government agencies that are driving government initiatives in the region. We were given the mandate to come up with an implementation work plan that would reflect responses to issues raised in the region.
“For the first time in the history of the region, you have the agencies coming together to work out of one common platform and that platform avoids wastages; it would help avoid duplications of projects; it would help avoid dissipating our resources and wasting the scarce resources that we have.
“It would also reinforce the process of joint accountability so that you now know what each agency is doing; how to hold each agency accountable. It would benchmark the basis of holding them accountable on what they have committed to deliver.”
Kachikwu further noted that focus of the committee is on developmental issues and challenges such as environmental degradation, infrastructure deficit, unemployment and militancy facing the Niger Delta region.
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