Senate, Reps Committees Task Niger Delta Ministry on Budget Implementation

The Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Niger Delta have emphasized the need for effective implementation of budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, for the benefits of the people of the Niger Delta region.

This view was expressed by the Chairmen of the committees on Niger Delta when the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani led the Ministry’s delegation to the National Assembly for the 2018 Budget Defence and presentation of the 2019 Draft Budget in Abuja, on Thursday.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi noted: “If we discover that you do not deserve the money allocated to you by Mr. President, we will ensure that such money is given to other Ministries or agencies that need it, but if we also discover that the money allocated to you is smaller than what you require, we will source for other areas of raising funds for you.”

Senator Nwaoboshi added that the Ministry should ensure timely completion of projects that would benefit the people of the Niger Delta region, while charging it to do away with those projects he tagged, ‘less important.’

He hinted that the discoveries from the committee’s oversight visits to the region would be the major deciding factors for the consideration of the Ministry’s 2019 Appropriation.

Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Niger Delta, Honourable Essien Ayi said his Committee was interested in the completion of on-going capital projects in the Niger Delta region, saying that the committee, in its last oversight visit to various projects of the Ministry in the region witnessed a number of uncompleted projects.

Hon. Ayi also advised that completed housing schemes in the Niger Delta region by the Ministry should be handed over to the beneficiaries to address their housing need. “The Niger Delta people deserve to be treated better,” he reiterated.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, while presenting a draft budget of N41,600,274,568 covering Capital, Overhead and Personnel Appropriation for 2019 before the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Niger Delta, disclosed that about 80 projects- roads, water, electricity, housing, blocks of class room, food and cassava processing plants, health care centres, empowerment programmes, sensitisation on peace and security, medical outreaches, land reclamation and erosion control, among others, were completed within the 2018 budget year across the nine states of the Niger Delta region.

Pastor Usani said that the implementation of the 2018 Capital Budget was still on-going, adding that more capital projects would still be completed before June, 2019.

He said that the Ministry was guided by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration’s determination to move the country to the Next Level, in preparing the budget. “The core projects earmarked for execution in the fiscal year 2019 are indeed consistent with the programmes spelt out in the Budget guidelines,“ he reiterated.

The Minister stressed that his Ministry will continue to ensure that quality jobs are delivered to the people and residents of the Niger Delta region by contractors.

Stephen Kilebi
Deputy Director
(Press and Public Relations)
4th April, 2019

Federal Government and Indian Government Collaborate on Training, Youth Development and Security of Investments in Niger Delta

The Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has disclosed the Federal Government's readiness to collaborate with the Government of India on training, youth development and security of investments in the Niger Delta region.

The Minister disclosed this while playing host to the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Abhay Thakur, in Abuja, On Tuesday 26th March, 2019.

Pastor Usani commended the Government of India for its numerous support for Nigeria towards human capital development in education, adding that Nigeria looked forward to further high-level engagements with India, especially in politics.

"The Niger Delta is suffering a lot of things, communities in the region are being submerged under the sea due to serious coastal problems," he added.

The Minister reiterated, "In every raining season, not less than ten to twenty communities are being lost in some States in the Niger Delta region due to flooding."

Pastor Usani called on the Indian High Commissioner to use his good office to see how his country, which he described as the largest democracy in the world, to advance Nigeria's democracy.

In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Omoleye Daramola called on Indian Government to establish Indian Hospitals in Nigeria, saying such will check medical tourism and help the less privileged Nigerians who may not be opportune to travel to India for medical treatments.

Earlier, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Abhay Thakur disclosed that there had been considerable growth in his country's collaboration with Nigeria, saying that his country was committed to further collaboration on investments, power, agriculture and youth empowerment in the Niger Delta region.

In his words, “I had the privilege of receiving in audience, delegation of Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce recently and we discussed exchange of business opportunities, investments and operational maintenance of facilities as designed by business representatives of Niger Delta."

The High Commissioner added that his country had a capacity-building programme tagged; "Indian Technical and Economic Corporation (ITEC) Programme" under which his country had received several representatives from Niger Delta region of Nigeria, adding that more youths in Nigeria, especially those from the Niger Delta region could tap from such a programme.

He reiterated his country's commitment to partner with Nigeria in the areas of politics, business and medical infrastructure in Nigeria.

Stephen Kilebi
Deputy Director (Press)
26th March, 2019

Social, Economic Development: Basis for Niger Delta Climate Change Document - Usani

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Usani Uguru Usani has disclosed that the preparation of the Document: "Niger Delta Region Climate Change Programme and Action Plan" was necessitated by the need to address the social and economic development of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The Minister represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Alhaji Aminu Aliyu Bisalla made the remark at the side event of Cop 24 at the Climate Change Conference, Katowice, Poland 2018.

Dr. Usani remarked that the pace and effects of climate change in the Niger Delta are increasing and unless the trend is reversed, human and physical ecologies would be seriously impacted as it is being presently observed in many of the communities in the Niger Delta region.

The Minister disclosed that the document launched in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, in November 2018 investigated and reported on the effects of Climate Change in the Niger Delta region, national and available state policies for addressing Climate Change and their relationship with the Niger Delta.

The Honourable Minister also remarked that the essence of the document was to guide the Niger Delta region and other stakeholders on the implementation of collective measures to address climate change impacts and causes through adaptation, mitigation and other measures.

Dr. Usani disclosed that some of the climate change programmes and projects in the document for poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihood include:

i. restoration of depleted habitats and sustainable management of biological resources in the Niger,

ii. climate change resilience and vulnerability mapping,

iii. flood control and management and early warning systems, erosion control projects,

iv. shore protection ,land reclamation and ecosystem reclamation.

He said that the set of programmes and action plan provide an integrated, harmonised, and multi-sectoral framework for responding and combating climate change in the Niger Delta through comprehensive adaptation, mitigation and other measures.

The Minister's representatives thereafter presented the document "Niger Delta Region Climate Change Programme and Action Plan "to the international community.

Stakeholders, development partners, donor agencies and other interested organisations in the Niger Delta region development were invited to key into the climate change action plan. In his remarks at the event, Senator Foster Ogola, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for the document and called for international intervention in the development of the Niger Delta region in view of its contribution to Nigeria's economy.

Senator Ogola also disclosed that the 8th National Assembly would pass the Gas Flairing Bill before the expiration of its tenure to address the issue of gas flairing in the Niger Delta region.

Mr. Al-Hamndou Dorsouma, the Division Manager Climate Change, African Development Bank also applauded the ministry for the document, adding that it was a step further in addressing the effects of climate in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

He advised that the document be reviewed after the 2018 Conference on Climate Change. Mr. Dorsouma also assured that the African Development Bank would assist Nigeria in its climate change programme.

Stephen Kilebi,
Deputy Director (Press & PR)
18th December, 2018

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