Completion of East-West road captured in 2021, says Akpabio
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio has assured stakeholders of the Niger Delta region that provision has already been made in the 2021 budget estimates for the completion of the East-West road.
Akpabio disclosed this at weekend during fourth National Council on Niger Delta region with the theme: “Achieving Uncommon Development in the Niger Delta: The Roadmap and Strategy” in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He said the Federal Government was seeking robust collaboration with stakeholders to formulate and implement policies and programmes geared towards encouraging rapid socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region.
He said the ministry was seeking to partner and collaborate with relevant agencies, development partners and stakeholders on investments, infrastructure and institutional capacity development to enhance synergy among stakeholders.
Akpabio also explained that the ministry had initiated the process of harmonisation of the Niger Delta Action Plan of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other developmental plans of the region into a single regional plan for the region.
He further stated that the ministry had taken steps towards repositioning the NDDC to achieve its original mandate, adding that the ongoing Forensic Audit approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) was aimed at achieving optional utilisation of funds and provision of infrastructure in the area.
“Provision has been made in the 2021 budget estimates towards the completion of the East-West road, which is a flagship project of the ministry.
“Some achievements have been made in socio-economic development, capacity development of youths, building of housing estates, provision of schools, hospitals, electricity and pipe-borne water in many communities.
“The Federal Government is committed to sustaining the gains and even do more to improve the living conditions of the Niger Delta people,” he added.
Speaking, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, stated that the Niger Delta region had experienced minimal progress due to limited resources and technical capacity, which has affected the people negatively.
He said that NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs were established as intervention agencies to assuage the yearnings of the Niger Delta people, as well as drive and meet the development needs of the region.
On his part, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Omotayo Alasoadura stated that the ministry would not relent in its commitment to the development and empowerment of its people to enhance peace and stability of the region.