Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs

Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has called on critical stakeholders and multilateral organisations to invest more in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to move the region forward.

Akpabio made the call at a meeting with directors, donor agencies, permanent secretaries and development partners in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the ministry was a focal point for coordinating and mobilising concerted domestic and international assistance in resolving key challenges in the region.

According to him, NDDC has not lived up to its responsibilities in the development of the region.

He urged the ministry to redirect focus on the people by creating job opportunities, infrastructure development and strive to move the region to the next level.

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“We aim to formulate and execute plans, programmers as well as to coordinate the activities of agencies, communities, donors and relevant stakeholders in the development of the region.

“Our major challenges are low budgetary allocation, huge debt profile and current insecurity in the region.

“We call on critical stakeholders, corporate and multilateral organisations to invest more in the Niger Delta for the development of the region,” he said.

He charged the commission to collaborate with financial agencies to move the region forward while promising that the ministry would work with the commission to ensure development in the region.

He added that “President Muhammadu Buhari looked forward to commissioning projects in the region.”

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He expressed the hope that in the next four years, legacies would be created for the people of the Niger Delta region.

The minister also promised to focus on issues that would reduce capital flight in the region by addressing the health and employment needs of the people.

He said some developmental projects in the region were politically motivated and not sustainable but promised to change the operations by leaving all politically motivated projects and go into legacy projects.

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, explained that it was the mandate of the ministry to initiate, coordinate, manage and promote development policies and processes in the Niger Delta region.

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Walson-Jack said the ministry would set the agenda of moving the region forward, chart new ways of working together and improve institutional capabilities and performance management to deliver real impact.

She added that the ministry would work to uphold excellence and good reputation of the public service as well as promote the principles of good governance.