Akpabio tasks NDDC on Alternative Funding

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Affairs, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, (CON), has charged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to explore collaborative partnership with other Agencies permitted by law as alternative sources of funding.

Senator Akpabio, gave the charge when he paid a working visit to the Headquarters of NDDC, on 20th September, 2019 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The Minister urged the Commission to imbibe the culture of adherence to due process, international best practices and commitment to the welfare of the people of the Niger Delta region.

He also called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to drastically curtail its procurement activities by reducing the number of new projects and programmes, because, according to him “the ongoing 12 thousand projects by the Commission are facing funding challenges”.

The Minister said the Commission must put a mechanism in place to re-evaluate the viability of some of these projects and programmes, prioritize them, and complete them immediately for the benefit of the people. Adding that the Commission should ensure equitable distribution of projects among the nine States in the region.

Akpabio, directed that the Commission must commence some legacy projects in each of the nine State of the Niger Delta, ensure regular funding, close monitoring and supervision that will bring about prompt delivery so as to have lasting impact in the region.

Speaking further, the Minister promised to put a mechanism in place to determine the actual liabilities of the Commission and the total number of ongoing projects and programmes. He also charged the Commission to ensure they move to their Headquarters next year.

Senator Akpabio called on the Commission to have a well-structured fund development regime and also charged them to motivate the staff, so as to put in their best in projects monitoring and evaluation.

Earlier, the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Dr. Mrs. Enyia Akwagaga, disclosed that the Commission is driving a partnership to grow Agribusiness, in the focal states of the Commission that will target about ten (10) local government areas in each state with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD).

She also said that the programme Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Project in the Niger Delta, LIFE-ND is bringing about $129.2 Million to the table and that the huge amount will be invested in the collaboration which stands to boost food production and empower the vulnerable rural population to drive their own economy.

Mrs. Enyia lamented that as an Interventionist Agency whose mandate is the development of the Niger Delta region, they are bothered that they have been cast in a certain negative stereotype, where everybody sees NDDC funds as “our money”.

She assured the Minister, that the Commission will move to its Headquarters in June 2020.

Patricia, Deworitshe
(Press & Public Relations)
Friday 20th, September.

Akpabio tasks NDDC on the Development of the Niger Delta Region

The Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, has tasked the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to focus on projects and programmes that will enhance the development of the people in the Niger Delta region.

The Minister gave the task in a meeting with the Directors of the NDDC, led by Dr. (Mrs.) Akwagaga Enyia, in Abuja on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

He said that NDDC had not lived to its responsibilities in the development of the region and urged them to redirect their focus on the people by creating job opportunities, infrastructural development and strive to move the region to the next level, adding that there had been complaints all over about the Commission.

The Minister stressed the need to have a sober reflection to refocus NDDC, emphasing that a forensic analysis and audit will be carried out soon.

Akpabio, therefore charged the Commission to collaborate with its financial agencies to move the region forward, promising that the Ministry will work with the Commission to ensure development in the Niger Delta region.

He also added that Mr. President looks forward to commissioning projects in the region, hoping that in the next four years, legacies would be left behind for the people of Niger Delta region.

The Minister promised to focus on issues that will reduce capital flight in the region by addressing the health and employment needs of the people. He also pledged his commitment to address environmental issues and make the region an industrial cluster.

Senator Apkabio said that the budgeting procedure of NDDC is going to be redirected to aim at ongoing projects which is almost ready for completion but were left behind for lack of human will and proper coordination. He expressed his displeasure on the number of uncompleted projects in the Niger Delta region.

In his words, “We are going to focus on key projects that are on ground, between now and the year 2020 and also start things that can create employment opportunities, small and medium scale enterprises for the youths”. On post amnesty, “we want every child to be gainfully employed otherwise we will be sitting on a time bomb”, he added.

The Senator lamented that developmental projects were politically motivated and were not done for sustainable development. He promised to change the modus operandi by leaving all those politically motivated projects and go into legacy projects.

He commended, President Muhammedu Buhari for putting the East-West road under Special Infrastructure Fund outside the budget adding that “moving the country to the next level means that we will not like to leave behind any uncompleted project we would show that clearly this a period for legacy project.”

In his remarks, the Minister of State, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, said the purpose of the meeting was to meet with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as the supervising Ministry to discuss issues in the front burner and to redefine the vision of the Commission that has been lost overtime.

Mr. Festus Keyamo noted that their appointment as the Ministers of the Ministry was not a coincidence but a deliberate plan by the President to appoint sons of the soil to develop their region. We were appointed to get the vision right, in his words “It may not be business as usual but business unusual.”

Earlier, the Permanent secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, mni, welcomed the Management Team of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the Ministry. She explained that it is the mandate of the Ministry to initiate, coordinate, manage and promote development polices and processes in the Niger Delta region.

Walson-Jack said that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs will set the agenda of moving the region forward, chart new ways of working together and by that improve institutional capabilities and performance management to deliver real impact adding that the Ministry will work to uphold excellence and the good reputation of the public service as well as always promote the principles of good governance.

The Permanent Secretary also said she has no doubt that under the visionary leadership of the agent of uncommon transformation. His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Obot Akpabio and his dependable ally, Festus Keyamo, SAN, they will meet the aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta region for peace, development and progress.

In her remarks, the overseeing Director NDDC, Dr. (Mrs.) Akwagaga Enyia, promised to work with the Minister to achieve the vision and mission of the commission to address the developmental challenges of the Niger Delta region. She pledged total commitment of the Niger Delta Development Commission to help redirect and reposition the commission so that the region will be in good shape.

Mrs. Akwagaga assured the Minister that they are ready to cooperate with the Ministers and the Ministry to move the region forward.

Deworitshe, Patricia, 
Head (Press and Public Relation), 
September 4th, 2019.

Akpabio Charges Niger Delta Youths on Peace in the Region

The Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, has charged the youths of the region on the need for peace in the region. He said the Federal Government has planned to carry out a situation analysis on projects executed in the Niger-Delta Region.

Senator Godswill Akpabio disclosed this when Youth for Peace and Development in the Niger Delta paid him a courtesy call on Friday 23, August, 2019 in his office in Abuja.

According to Senator Akpabio, a critical assessment of the situation in the region will enable the present administration to assess the impact of activities and programmes in the region to enable him formulate new policy programmes in the drive to effectively address the challenges in the region.

The Minister promised to visit each State in the region to assess the immediate situation on ground and report back to the President. He also promised that everything would be put in place to ensure that the President commissions at least one key project in each State of the region in the next 24 months.

Senator Akpabio noted that his appointment and that of Festus Keyamo, SAN was not a coincidence but rather a deliberate policy of Mr. President to appoint them as they are sons of the Region and therefore acquainted with the needs and expectations of the people.

Akpabio assured them that the President is committed to changing the face of the region and charged the Youths to take his message home “that the era of crying and suffering is over.”

The Chairman of the group, Youth for Peace and Development in Niger-Delta, Comrade Joseph Opuama, thanked Mr. President for the appointment of Sen. Akpabio and Mr. Festus Keyamo, to rescue the ugly situation facing the Niger-Delta region.

The Chairman of the group pleaded with the Minister to pay more attention to the East-West road, which according to him has become a death trap to the people of the region. Comrade Opuama also called on the Minister to strengthen the process of human capital development and youth empowerment in the region.

The youth group pledged to cooperate with the Security Agencies to ensure that there is total peace in the region.

Deworitshe, Patricia, 
Head (Press & Public Relations), 
23rd August, 2019.

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